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Re: Complex Table Examples

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 08:57:07 -0400
To: <www-html@w3.org>, <sec508@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: "'Laura Carlson'" <lcarlson@d.umn.edu>
Message-ID: <464c50b3.18695c54.65d7.6245@mx.google.com>

Here is just one example of headers-id being used in the manner intended.
There are several pages on the GE website that present  financial
information that use  this technique.
 See
http://www.ge.com/en/company/news/press/1q03earnings.htm

When the labels or headers to be related to  a data cell are not exactly
above it or to its left, or the table uses rowspan / colspan, one  needs to
use the header-id method.

Sure this is time consuming and error prone and can be worthless if coded
wrongly or in a manner not intended. But there are automated tools (like
Deque Ramp and Deque Worldspace) that can check for accessibility violations
and even fix them in an automated fashion - including header-id attributes
once the developer identifies the header cells. 

Even the TH tag can be misused - say if it is used for data cells. Or,
developers may fail to ensure the uniqueness of the id value on a page.

Then is that a good enough reason to knock the TH tag or  the ID attribute
off the HTML specs? 
Would it not be better instead to advocate the use of existing accessibility
features and educate developers about accessibility? 
Thanks,
Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer
Deque Systems Inc. (www.deque.com)
11130 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite #140,
Reston VA 20191
Phone: 703-225-0380 (ext 105)
E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com
Received on Thursday, 17 May 2007 12:55:19 GMT

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