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Re: alt text for NON-img elements?

From: Kevin Cole <kevin.cole@gallaudet.edu>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 16:36:56 -0400
Message-ID: <CANCGHigXNNRY0DCN_-zsgyLeRVHA_Q+RZumvdNMC-_q0-7=O+Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 16:01, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>wrote:

> On Mon, 02 Apr 2012 21:22:49 +0200, Kevin Cole <kevin.cole@gallaudet.edu>
> wrote:
>  Specifically, I have rows which consist of a first column that is a
>> project title, and 13 columns following which represent criteria to meet.
>> The headings for the 13 columns are simply the numbers 1 to 13, with a
>> 13-column spanning row above them labeled "Research Priorities".
>> In an ideal world (I think), I'd like a screen reader to read out
>> something like "<project name>. 1, 9, 12." when columns 1 9 and 12 are
>> the only ones with the Unicode character.  Even better would be "Project:
>> <project name> Priorities: 1, 9, 12."
> If I understand correctly, this is a pretty common visual metaphor - e.g.
> charts comparing browsers and the features they implement as an example
> that I see a lot.

Yes, your example is fairly parallel to my use case.

> There's a pretty fundamental disconnect between how you look this up in a
> two-dimensional universe and in a linear universe.

My thinking as well. At the moment, I'm trying to duplicate, as closely as
possible, a printed document, except that mine is cross-linked and
searchable.  The table in question is actually quite large, and not
well-suited to a linear approach. I will probably lobby for something a bit
more flexible but at the moment, I just want to convince people of the
value without messing with the visual format too much.  Once I've sold
people on that, I'll feel freer about putting my own spin on it.

> Thinking aloud a bit...
> Making the cells with bullets into th elements seems *closer* to what you
> really want to do - so running along the list of projects (as td elements)
> they get the relevant headers announced. I think the real answer is to make
> the project names be semantically data cells, and have them refer to the
> relevant header cells (e.g. project GiantCake has <th headers="one three
> nine"> where priority headers are e.g. <th id="three">3</th>).

Interesting... I'll ponder that.

> An alternative would be to provide the ability to toggle between the table
> and e.g. a dl which listed the projects and priorities plus an ordered list
> that gave the reverse lookup (this is akin to what we do on e.g.
> http://opera.com/smw/2012/01 for stuff we present as a graph).

I considered this approach before writing to the list.  I haven't
completely rejected it but wanted to see if there were possibilities more
in line with what I was hoping for.

> (It should be possible to construct a tool that handles the source data
> (even from a table) and automates most of that process, but I leave that as
> an exercise for the reader, or a day when I have spare time...)

Actually, quite easy in this case: The data is being pulled from a
PostgreSQL database and run through Django to produce the table

Thanks.  You've given me an approach that wasn't on my radar.
Received on Monday, 2 April 2012 20:37:22 UTC

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