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Re: WCAG Priority Levels for accessibility-oriented TABLE eements and attributes

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 12:54:29 -0500
Message-ID: <38592755.ABFA44E0@clark.net>
To: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
CC: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines Mailing List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Authoring Tools Guidelines List <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
I guess we're dealing with worse case?

Wendy A Chisholm wrote:
> 
> Gregory,
> 
> These 2 checkpoints are P3 because providing a summary or header
> abbreviations make it "easier" to get the info from a table.  If an author
> does not provide a summary or header abbreviations, it is not making it
> "impossible" or "difficult" to access the information in a table. UNLESS a
> summary is so well written that a user would not need to access the
> table.   Therefore, I could see upgrading "summary" to P2 for complex
> tables, p3 for others.  Headers I still see as "helpful" i.e. they decrease
> reading time and annoyance (based on the current WCAG use of the "abbr"
> attribute and not ABBR element.  ABBR issues are handled in checkpoint 4.2,
> also a P3).
> 
> Yes, authors should be encouraged to provide as much semantic information
> as possible.  The WCAG prioritizes that info based on how well it can help
> the user access the information, in this case we are refering to the TABLE
> element.  Summaries and table header abbreviations do not help access
> nearly as much as appropriate structure, identifying headers, etc.
> 
> unless you can prove me otherwise...
> 
> --wendy
> 
> >At 07:22 PM 12/15/99 -0500, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> > >aloha, ian!
> > >
> > >during the afternoon session of the User Agent Working Group meeting in
> > austin
> > >on 10 december 1999, you assured me that all of the accessibility attributes
> > >and elements contained in HTML4 that are defined for tables are accorded
> > P1 in
> > >WCAG...  however, WCAG Checkpoints 5.5 and 5.6 (which deal with the summary
> > >attribute for TABLE and the abbreviation attribute for TD and TH are only
> > >accorded P3...  if non-visual access to tabular information (i.e. the
> > ability
> > >to search within a table, a nested table, a column or row; the ability
> > to read
> > >across rows and down columns; the ability to obtain extended contextual
> > >information from a cell in a nested table, etc.) is left to AT interaction
> >with
> > >the DOM and relies upon proper usage of TABLE elements and attributes, then
> > >_all_ of the semantic slash contextual markup defined for tables in HTML4
> >needs
> > >to be accorded a P1 in WCAG, so that authors provide as much semantic and
> > >contextual information as possible when they create a table...  this is the
> > >only way that a user's adaptive technology will be able to use the DOM to
> > >extract semantic information from the TABLE, so as to provide information
> >which
> > >will orient the user, thereby making it possible for that user to use
> > whatever
> > >navigational mechanisms his or her AT has provided for traversing tables...
> > >
> > >moreover, both the summary and the abbr attributes are clearly identified in
> > >the HTML4 TR as accessibility features
> > >
> > >the HTML4 definition of the "summary" attribute
> > >http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/tables.html#adef-summary
> > >states
> > >
> > >quote
> > >summary = text [CS]
> > >   This attribute provides a summary of the table's purpose
> > >   and structure for user agents rendering to non-visual
> > >   media such as speech and Braille.
> > >unquote
> > >
> > >while the HTML4 definition of the "abbr" attribute
> > >http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/tables.html#adef-abbr
> > >states:
> > >
> > >quote
> > >abbr = text [CS]
> > >   This attribute should be used to provide an abbreviated form
> > >   of the cell's content, and may be rendered by user agents
> > >   when appropriate in place of the cell's content. Abbreviated
> > >   names should be short since user agents may render them
> > >   repeatedly. For instance, speech synthesizers may render
> > >   the abbreviated headers relating to a particular cell before
> > >   rendering that cell's content.
> > >unquote
> > >
> > >thus, i would ask that ALL of the structural and contextual slash semantic
> > >markup defined for TABLE in HTML4 be accorded a P1 in WCAG, for, as i was
> > >minuted as stating at the austin face2face:
> > >
> > >quote
> > >GR: I'm not opposed to using the DOM to walk the tree [in order to perform
> > >navigation within tables]. The bottom line is authoring practices: misuse of
> > >markup. Also, lack of implementation of axis/scope/caption/summary. If
> > we push
> > >everything off to the DOM, it's meaningless unless all the pieces are
> > clearly
> > >marked up and defined. I'm not asking for [the user agent to repair] poorly
> > >marked up tables; however, for proper tables, the information needs to
> > be made
> > >available. If we say "Get everything from the DOM" we need to ensure
> > that what
> > >is needed is in the DOM in the first place.
> > >unquote
> > >
> > >gregory.
> > >--------------------------------------------------------
> > >He that lives on Hope, dies farting
> > >     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
> > >--------------------------------------------------------
> > >Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
> > >   WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
> > >        <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html>
> > >--------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> >Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> >Chair, W3C WAI User Agent Working Group
> >Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> >College of Applied Life Studies
> >University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> >1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820
> >
> >Voice: (217) 244-5870
> >Fax: (217) 333-0248
> >
> >E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> >
> >WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> >WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
> 
> --
> wendy a chisholm
> world wide web consortium
> web accessibility initiative
> madison, wi usa
> tel: +1 608 663 6346
> /--

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Received on Thursday, 16 December 1999 12:58:22 UTC

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