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Change proposal: adding column-related methods to the DOM Interface for tabular data

From: Wendy Chisholm <chisholm.wendy@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 09:11:30 -0800
Message-ID: <fb84194f1002160911k67bf0c1dyd5c422ab4c5d8fdf@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
I've started drafting a change proposal for the table DOM Interface.
It's still very rough and before I spend more time on it I want to get
some feedback. I'm not confident that I'm taking this in the best

The goal is make it easier to pull information about cells from
tables. Adding methods to retrieve collections of cells that make up
columns and clarifying how span attributes affect navigation of the
tree could help do this. As it is, assistive technologies receive
inconsistent information between browsers (although that might be an
artifact of inadequate specification in the HTML4 specification). If
the information were available from the DOM, ATs could get more
consistent information and applications could also make use of these
methods that mirror existing methods for rows.

However, the row methods are based on the existence of the tr element
and there is only an implied column element.

I don't have all of the information about how Javascript libraries do
this. I know what we do with WebAnywhere and I've asked some AT
developers about their access of tables.

As I said, this is rough and I'm not sure if I'm heading in the best
direction. Feedback is much appreciated.


Please put this on the agenda for Thursday.


Wendy Chisholm
Universal Design Evangelist
twitter: wendyabc
Received on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 17:12:03 UTC

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