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

Re: summary="" in HTML5 ISSUE-32

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 12:23:01 -0500
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>, Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, 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>
Message-Id: <51502C91-6412-4832-B784-4C9414B4358D@comcast.net>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>

This is something with which I agree but what I was wondering about is  
something quite narrow in scope.  I take it for granted that folk  
wouldn't be doing this work if they were not interested and am not  
fluent in many languages but am aware that they are out there and that  
others are fluent in languages both singly and multiply that I am not.

What actually mystifies me and I've been following every nuounce of  
the conversation over a long span on several lists is that there has  
not been shown to be anything satisfactorily demonstrated to replace  
what can be and has been used as such an accessibility enhancing  
attribute as @summary.  I'm not saying that ideas are not welcomed or  
discouraged but that there are some hard facts that need to be  
considered if we are ever going to move toward striking @summary from  

On Feb 25, 2009, at 12:02 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

Hi David,

On Feb 25, 2009, at 7:24 AM, David Poehlman wrote:

> in that event, it can be ignored, however, one does wonder why the  
> resistance to something so obviously benefitial is so *strong*.

I think the disagreement is over whether summary is, on the whole,  
beneficial, and whether other approaches might be more beneficial to  
all users. Your framing of the disagreement assumes the answer, and  
makes it sound like those who disagree with your technical position  
hate accessibility. Even though it is phrased more courteously than  
Robert's statement, I don't think it's helpful to discussion.

I don't have a strong opinion one way or another on summary. But it  
seems that discussion of accessibility features often gets very  
emotional and heated. I think nearly all of us in this group want to  
see a Web that is accessible to everyone. What we sometimes disagree  
on are the best means to achieve these goals. So let's try to think  
like this: "Person X has a different idea of how to best achieve  
universal access, how can I persuade them to my point of view? Or do  
they perhaps have a good point?" instead of like this: "Why is person  
X against accessibility?" That's the way we try to discuss other  
technical issues, even though often equally important goals are at  
stake. And that gives us the best chance of coming up with good  


> On Feb 25, 2009, at 9:20 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> Robert J Burns wrote:
>> I say malicious since the continued repetition of the fallacious  
>> arguments seem directed at ensuring such information is not made  
>> available to visually and cognitively disabled users.
> The above statement is neither productive nor acceptable.
> - Sam Ruby
> -- 
> Jonnie Appleseed
> with his
> Hands-On Technolog(eye)s
> reducing technology's disabilities
> one byte at a time

Jonnie Appleseed
with his
Hands-On Technolog(eye)s
reducing technology's disabilities
one byte at a time
Received on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 17:24:31 UTC

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