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RE: PF Response: @Summary

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 15:53:52 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Jonas Sicking'" <jonas@sicking.cc>, "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'Janina Sajka'" <janina@rednote.net>, "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Chris Wilson'" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "'Michael Cooper'" <cooper@w3.org>, "'Dan Connolly'" <connolly@w3.org>, "'Mike Smith'" <mike@w3.org>, "'W3C WAI Protocols & Formats'" <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>, "'Gez Lemon'" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>, "'www-archive'" <www-archive@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001101c9e567$747dbf40$5d793dc0$@edu>
Jonas Sicking wrote:
> 
> 
> Do non-sighted users need *different* descriptive data about the table
> than sighted users. In particular, might you want to provide
> descriptive information both to sighted and non-sighted users, but
> have the information be different?
> 
> If the answer is "absolutely" then it seems like there is a stronger
> case for @summary.
> 
> If the answer is "no", then using <caption> seems like a good idea.

Jonas, if 'web accessibility' were black and white, then your questions
would be valid.  Instead however, web accessibility is about the millions
of shades of gray. Since <caption> and @summary are different, yet related
beasts, we do all a disservice by expecting one to 'fill-in' for the
other.  The answer to your question is: it depends.

> 
> Then there are the more complicated answers like "yes, there are cases
> where you want different, but sometimes/often/mostly/occasionally you
> don't" or "sometimes you want the information to be separate, but
> people often get it wrong and only provide information to one of the
> two groups". In these cases data and actual numbers would be helpful
> in deciding if advantages outweigh disadvantages with either proposed
> solution.

All of the above and more.  If nothing, you have further made the case for
ensuring that both solutions remain available in the developer's toolbox.
Educating developers on how to make the appropriate choice is required,
but giving the developer the choice in best informing their users cannot
be anything but positive.  Choice is good!  Others in this thread have
already articulated well the difference between the two (with Leif
actually referencing existing documents), and as you have noted, there
will be times when one is more appropriate than the other, but at that
time, only you as content creator will be able to best decide which choice
is most appropriate.

JF
Received on Thursday, 4 June 2009 23:00:46 GMT

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