W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > February 2009

Re: summary="" in HTML5

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 10:29:42 +0000
Message-ID: <49A3CC16.7070907@cfit.ie>
To: William Loughborough <wloughborough@gmail.com>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>, Steve Axthelm <steveax@pobox.com>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org, janina@rednote.net, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
William Loughborough wrote:
> claiming causality is untenable on the usual contention that
> since smoke alarms are seldom used, they shouldn't be mandatory in building
> codes.

+1. Other entropy encoding analogies spring to mind also. Because there
are admittedly few good examples of @summary in the wild is just not
solid grounds to drop it. I have not heard one convincing case for its
removal FWIW beyond a nebulous desire to /improve/ things. This is why
we need advocated for webstandards as _promotion_ is needed. I am glad
to see there has been some concession to the usage of @summary in Ians
edits but its not enough.

And yes, @summary is unashamedly more useful for non-sighted users.

Ian Hickson said:
On Wed, 18 Feb 2009, Joshue O Connor wrote:
> >
> > The difference is between some thing that facilitates comprehension for
> > a user that /needs/ this information and something that is optional for
> > a user who can already comprenend it. For example, a sighted user can
> > quickly glance at a table and understand the relationships between
> > various headers and row and column relationships. A non sighted user,
> > has to interogate the table. @summary is useful as it does some of this
> > work for the user because the user is informed in advance of what the
> > table contains. It could be compared to a look ahead.

>I think you underestimate the number of people who have problems reading
>complicated tables.

No. I don't.

>Some of the tables I've seen discussed in this thread
>are tables for which I really wish I had access to real summaries.

Well then keep it in the spec. All a /real/ summary is btw is an authors
attempt at an overview or desciption, they are often poor. It's like
@alt text, often subjective, badly done, useless. The point however is
that the mechanism is needed. You wouldn't ban paint brushes or guitars
because there is a lot of crap music and art?
Received on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 10:30:58 UTC

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