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

Re: summary="" in HTML5 ISSUE-32

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 15:02:46 +0100
Message-ID: <49A94406.9040206@malform.no>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie, David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, 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>
Maciej Stachowiak 2009-02-27 10.37:
> On Feb 27, 2009, at 12:11 AM, Joshue O Connor wrote:
>> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

>>> Would you agree that summary
>>> providing additional information (not information about table structure,
>>> or a summary of the table's conclusions, but brand new info that is not
>>> in the table at all) violates equivalence?
>> Ahh, I see. Not at all. I actually find this line of reasoning
>> distasteful. Why? Because if any ideal of equivalence could result in
>> penalizing people with disabilities because a technology serves their
>> needs - the implication being that the sighted person is in some way
>> discriminated against because they are 'denied' some meta data
>> specifically of use to another group, c'mon. That is a perverse notion
>> of equivalence that has dangerous implications when abstracted out into
>> practice.
> I am just taking the word 'equivalence' literally. My notion of 
> equivalence is that, to the degree possible, all users are provided with 
> the same or equivalent content conveying the same information.

One should not focus on guaranteeing that the summary text will 
not lead to a better understanding than a look at the table 
itself. We cannot say that "please do not make the summary more 
understandable than the table".

The summary is only an attribute. It is the table that is the 
canonical expression, regardless of whether it has more or less 
infor. (And may be this is a reason to keep it an attribute.)

But to add extra info in the summary, compared to what the table 
provides, might be problematic for those that need it, since it 
breaks with the canonical expression and thus might give a wrong 
or confusing image of what the table is about.

In fact, summary="Layout table." is an example of such needless 
and harmful more-info. Another example of the same thing is when 
summary contains a caption while the <table> does not. The latter 
version hampers communication between blind in seeingh when they 
are talking about the same document.
leif halvard silli
Received on Saturday, 28 February 2009 14:04:15 UTC

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