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RE: Current state of the summary discussion

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 04:19:17 +0100
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20091219041917171495.473798b3@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Ian Hickson, Sat, 19 Dec 2009 02:14:49 +0000 (UTC):
> On Sat, 19 Dec 2009, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>> Ian Hickson, Sat, 19 Dec 2009 01:29:19 +0000 (UTC):
>>> What would <summary> do?
>> 1) It would make the table summary programmatically detectable for AT. 
>> According to WCAG 2.0 it is important that the table summary is 
>> programmatically detectable.
> Isn't that handled adequately by ARIA?

I am aware of 3 possible attributes:

	1. Aria-label (an @alt style attribute)
	2. Aria-labelledby (could point to the title part)
	3. Aria-describedby (could point to the summary part)

Do you consider any of these as adequate? Do you know other parts of 
ARIA that covers it?

>> 2) A <caption> that contains non-caption content is unheard of in HTML 4 
>> and in XHTML. <summary> would justify placing non-caption content inside 
>> <caption> (since <summary> carries a "not the caption" stamp).
> Even in print I've seen tables that include text explaining how to read 
> the table, so I think it's justified enough as is.

A table - or a table caption? I'll assume a table caption.

I don't know how long the explanations you have found were, but a 
typical caption is essentially one paragraph of text. HTML 4 doesn't 
allow block content in the <caption> at all. The distinction of 
<caption> in HTML 4 is much about length: the caption is short, the 
summary is more elaborate. Thus it is not justified in HTML 4 and XHTML 
that we place "user guides" inside <caption>. 

I think, for the author, it would be the same whether should use <p> or 
<summary>. Or, I actually think it would be a help. The <caption>, the 
way you have rewritten it in the draft, essentially becomes like 
<details> and <figure>: An element with a title part and a content part.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/caption
Received on Saturday, 19 December 2009 03:19:51 UTC

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