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RE: headers attribute debate

From: don raikes <don.raikes@oracle.com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 12:59:30 -0700
To: "Laura Carlson" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "wai-xtech@w3.org" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20070531125930546.00000002056@draikes-pc>
Responding to the question of how much headers= is used, Oracle's web-based solutions all use the headers= attribute and have since roughly 2001/2002.

In fact that has been one of our requirements for making our software section 508 compliant.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: wai-xtech-request@w3.org [mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Laura Carlson
> Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 12:06 PM
> To: wai-xtech@w3.org
> Subject: Re: headers attribute debate
> 
> 
> 
> For your information:
> 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
> Subject: Re: headers attribute (was Re: Form elements)
> 
> On May 31, 2007, at 10:41 AM, Laura Carlson wrote:
> 
> > These questions are relevant not only to the headers 
> debate, but also
> > to the 'Moving forward' thread regarding reaching consensus 
> and design
> > principles/reviewing questions.
> >
> > Ben Boyle wrote [1]:
> >
> >> There seem enough cases here to warrant it's continued 
> part in HTML.
> >
> > Anne van Kesteren wrote [2]:
> >
> >> The arguments for removing it are that the feature isn't 
> widely used
> >
> > Thomas Broyer wrote [3]:
> >
> >> it has been proven that: headers= isn't used that much in the wild
> >
> > I asked about quantity of cases before [4] and didn't get a 
> response.
> > But I'll ask again. What is number of cases that proves a feature
> > should be included or excluded from the spec? Also how is 
> that number
> > derived? What factors are taken into consideration?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Laura
> >
> > [1] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/1262.html

> > [2] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/1249.html

> > [3] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/1259.html

> > [4] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/1144.html

> 
> I don't think there's a hard and fast number - it depends to some
> extent on the nature of the feature. There are also two tests to meet:
> 
> 1) Should it be required for implementations to support a given
> feature? For pre-existing constructs (from past specs or in existing
> browsers), this is based almost entirely on frequency of use, and
> whether support affects interoperability.
> 
> 2) Should it be allowed for use in conforming documents? This brings
> additional considerations into the picture. In general, only
> constructs with a valid use case should be allowed in conforming
> documents. Those who are against including headers="" would argue
> that nearly all the times you'd consider using it, scope="" will be
> easier and less error-prone, so we should recommend that as a better
> practice for authors. However, the counterbalance is that we want
> authors to be able to make documents that degrade gracefully in
> existing user agents without needlessly putting their documents out
> of conformance.
> 
> So the key questions, in my opinion, are:
> 
> 1) How much content is out there that uses headers="" correctly? Not
> just tutorials but actual live web sites that use it on their table
> markup. Bonus points if they use it correctly.
> 
> 2) It's been stated that existing screen readers have better support
> for headers="" than scope="". Can we quantify this? What are the most
> popular screen readers and what is their approximate market share?
> What is the user experience in each for a table marked up with
> scope="", a table marked up with headers="", and a table that is not
> annotated at all?
> 
> For features that are primarily handled by browsers rather than
> assistive technologies, these are the kinds of questions we
> investigate. The current use share breakdown is approximately 80% IE,
> 15% Firefox, 5% Safari, 1% Opera. Other browsers are all
> significantly below 0.1%. Most people have all of these browsers
> readily available so they can test things. So we tend to have good
> information about how various constructs work in the browsers
> actually used by users.
> 
> But I'd guess most of us don't even know what the top screen readers
> are, and we certainly don't have access to do extensive testing. So
> we'll need help gathering this kind of information.
> 
> Regards,
> Maciej
> 
> ---------- End Forwarded message ----------
> 
> 
> --
> Laura L. Carlson
> http://www.d.umn.edu/goto/webdesign/

> 
> 
> 
Received on Thursday, 31 May 2007 20:00:30 GMT

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