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Re: looking for an accessible data table:

From: James Craig <wai-ig@cookiecrook.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 23:00:18 -0600
Message-Id: <c6375a6ed237d3520fdeaa71d92bdd60@cookiecrook.com>
Cc: William R Williams <wrwilliams@fs.fed.us>
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Bill Williams wrote:
> Go ahead - rip it apart if you like, I am somewhat thick-skinned, so  
> long as there some lessons learned.
> <http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/business-plans/sequoia/financials/summary- 
> table.html>

Bravo, Bill. The world needs more people who enjoy receiving critiques.

> Bob Wrote:
>> OMG!!! That is supposed to be readable?????????/

Hmm... Apparently the world also needs more people knowing the  
difference between a critique and criticism. That was somewhat  
pointless feedback from Bob, and now his tactfulness is publicly  
archived for posterity.

Bill, here's a brief critique of that table for you.

1. The summary attribute has a great description, but Mike Moore  
recently told me about a technique he's using that might interest you.  
He adds a sentence or two that describes the format of the table, such  
as, "one row per user" or "date headings across the top, and expense  
type headings down the side."

2. "Summary Financial Table" might be more appropriate as a <caption>  
element than as a heading.

3. You may consider using <thead>, <tbody>, and <tfoot>. It doesn't  
have much accessibility value at this point, but it does have some  
practical benefits for printing styles, and it provides an extra  
semantic hook for your CSS. Instead of your current styles of  
".topheaders th", you could use a "thead th" selector.

4. Your class names are driven by style, not semantics. This again, is  
not an accessibility issue, but it's a developer best practice to avoid  
this technique and based class names on structure, rather than style.  
The end of this page has a brief summary of some reasons:  

5. You have the abbreviation FTE listed in a few places but never note  
the expanded version.

Good luck,
James Craig

PS. I have some other data tables in the events section of AIGA Austin,  
and would appreciate the same type of feedback if anyone wants to give  
it. Thanks!

Data tables using scope: <http://aigaaustin.org/events/>
More complex table using headers/id attributes:  

Received on Sunday, 13 February 2005 05:00:33 UTC

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