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Re: summarization information delivery options: attribute or element

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 10:48:27 +0000
Message-ID: <4B87A6FB.7010401@cfit.ie>
To: Shelley Powers <shelleypowers@burningbird.net>
CC: Gez Lemon <g.lemon@webprofession.com>, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, public-html-a11y@w3.org
Shelley Powers wrote:
> I think Gez really touched on the main issue with this point.
> We keep talking about elements and attributes, but these are solutions.
> What we really need to understand is what is the problem we're solving.
> The use case for the summary attribute is actually included within a
> description for the element in the HTML 4 spec:
> "This attribute provides a summary of the table's purpose and structure
> for user agents rendering to non-visual media such as speech and Braille."
> That's very concise, very specific, definitely a strong use case, and
> with a simple, to the purpose solution: an attribute that's specific to
> devices that either deliver the text as Braille, or as speech.
> Doesn't mean that there aren't other people who need help in other ways,
> and we should identify these ways and ascertain that there are solutions
> for their needs, as well. But that doesn't mean we should take a simple,
> elegant solution to one specific need, and convert it into something
> that not only probably won't solve the original need very well, but not
> solve anyone else's needs, either -- because we keep trying to solve the
> world of special needs, all at once.

Excellent point Shelley. Actually, I completely agree and would like to
leave @summary as is, for the audience for which it was intended because
what it does it does very well. However, the powers that be seem to see
things differently hence this whole debacle and the /many/ threads about
different use cases but since you so clearly state it, maybe a one size
fits all approach is just fundamentally flawed!

It would be remiss of us not to try however..or at least trash it out.

> You can't solve all problems with one solution. If we could, HTML would
> consist of one element: div.



Received on Friday, 26 February 2010 10:49:06 UTC

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