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RE: looking for an accessible data table:

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 20:40:22 -0600
To: "'Access Systems'" <accessys@smart.net>
Cc: "'James Craig'" <wai-ig@cookiecrook.com>, "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'William R Williams'" <wrwilliams@fs.fed.us>
Message-ID: <002401c51563$38a7e500$6501a8c0@jtcom2400>

Bob, the purpose of the standards or guidelines for accessible tables (or
forms for that matter) is not so much that Lynx will make any sense of it,
but IF assistive technology cares to take advantage, the information is
available. What I stated was that JAWS did very well. Neither HPR nor
Window-Eyes did very well. But both those tools have it in THEIR power to do

Your description reminds me what we faced with DOS screen readers in the
later 80's. All we had was a text view of the page (a lot like Lynx view you
described) and DOS developers were placing boxes (windows) of text on the
screen. If you continued to hope that your DOS screen reader was going to
make sense of it you were (generally) going to be disappointed.

Accessibility Consulting: http://jimthatcher.com/

-----Original Message-----
From: Access Systems [mailto:accessys@smart.net] 
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 12:42 PM
To: Jim Thatcher
Cc: 'James Craig'; 'wai-ig list'; 'William R Williams'
Subject: RE: looking for an accessible data table:

On Thu, 17 Feb 2005, Jim Thatcher wrote:

> This (http://tinyurl.com/3tx3q) is a wonderful example of a complex table
> and it is remarkably well coded - as far as JAWS is concerned.

but this is rendered horribly in LYNX using emacspeak.

it is title, then long lines of numbers with no rationale form or pattern
that can be decerned

> Other than that omission, JAWS reads this table perfectly. That amazes me;
> have assumed up until now, that that you should use TH (with/without
> OR use headers/id markup, but not both. This uses both and it works well -
> for JAWS.

there are other screen readers than JAWS and there are other operating
systems besides M$

> Even though JAWS reads the row headings automatically (because they are in
> column 1), I think this sample table should have TH, scope=row, on all the

in LYNX there are no rows or columns just a mess of raw datum

> > Access Systems wrote:
> >> no and it is because (at least in Linux/LYNX)...
> >
> > haven't looked too hard at that page's markup, but assuming that it is
> > correct (properly defined headings, scope, etc), is the problem you're
> > describing not one of the user agent (in this case lynx) rather than
> > the page author?
> I think you've nailed it Patrick; that's why I asked what user agent
> Bob was using when he experienced the problem. Now that we know it's
> Lynx, I'm not surprised he had trouble with a data table.

but LYNX is a popular TEXT web browser and it is current not obsolete

> To follow on the 'correct markup' comment, he uses a technique I
> haven't seen before. Scope is used appropriately for most of the cells,
> and headers/ID is added on a few of the cells. I've only used these
> techniques independently (either all scope, or all headers/ID) but not
> both combined. I'm on a Mac at home and haven't had a chance to test
> this at work yet, but I'd be curious to know if screen readers handled
> this technique consistently.

evidently not.


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