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Table cell access

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 21:54:37 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9903122144480.28952-100000@tux.w3.org>
This is part of my promised response to Jon's proposals for subsetting
checkpoints by applicable browser type.

It seems to me that checkpoint 5.4.1 (access to individual cells) needs to
be met for all User Agents which render tables (and all user agents should
render tables...)

In the case of the garden variety browser, a simple example is the user
who has a magnified screen. (Or where the table is very large. This is a
problem I had yesterday, at a fairly standard font size.) 

In order to provide access to the content of a single cell, techniques
include allowing cells to take a focus (in the HTML event model, although
it has other problems, it is expected that any rendered element can take
the focus). A simpler technique which can be implemented by most graphic
browsers is to provide the user with the option of placing a border around
each cell. The up/down and left/right navigation that can be used to make
sense of a table (although it is not especially easy, with a large table,
it does work) can be provided by allowing the user to scroll the viewport
laft/right and up/down over a view. All the graphic browsers I have seen
(Arachne, DocZilla, HotJava, IE, Mosaic, Navigator, Opera) manage this
already. Navigation of the DOM tree would also enable identification of
individual cells, since they are nodes on the tree.

Charles McCN

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 12 March 1999 21:54:40 UTC

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