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Use of SCOPE : H63 HTML Techniques- WCAG2 techniques

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 10:31:19 -0500
To: <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>
Cc: <caldwell@trace.wisc.edu>
Message-ID: <45e5a036.4dbb4373.1037.7723@mx.google.com>

Problem text under Description for H63 HTML Techniques (SCOPE for tables) in
Techniques for WCAG 2.0
"For simple data tables like the one in Example 1, this technique can be
used instead of the more
complex technique, "Using id and headers attributes to associate data cells
with header cells in data tables."

Above statement is not warranted. It is like saying for a simple image, use
the alt attribute instead of the longdesc attribute which lets one assign
elaborate descriptions for images.
The SCOPE attribute is not supported by assistive technology for tables that
use rowspan / colspan. Its use today is suggested in two situations both
relating to simple tables:
- data cells marked up with <td> that also function as row header or column
- header cells marked up with <td> instead of <th>. Sometimes authors do
this to avoid the display  characteristics associated with <th> and also do
not choose to use CSS to control the display for <th>.
(see proposed example below that illustrates both these situations)

Refer: Example 1 under H63 HTML Techniques in Techniques for WCAG 2.0
i. The use of SCOPE for a simple table in cells that use <TH> is futile. In
fact if TD is used then SCOPE should be used for such a simple table. Some
screen readers that do not support SCOPE do not read any headers as they are
programmed to do for simple tables. So I would not recommend this example.
ii. The statement ' Following the HTML 4.01 specification, it is marked
as a td element because it is both a data cell and a header cell.', too is
unnecessary in the light of the text proposed above under description. Also
it is not the objective of this document to educate the reader about the
HTML specs.

Include an example with column#1 containing serial numbers for rows in the
table and the second column containing the key value for the row. The cells
in the second column may then use scope=row. The cells in the first row too
are marked up with  <td> and use scope=col.
<table border="1">
<caption>Contact Information</caption>
<td scope="col">Name</td>
<td scope="col">Phone#</td>
<td scope="col">Fax#</td>
<td scope="col">City</td>
<td scope="row">Joel Garner</td>
<td scope="row">Clive Lloyd</td>
<td scope="row">Gordon Greenidge</td>

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 Wednesday, 28 February 2007 15:31:21 UTC

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