<tfoot> at the bottom of <table>

(My response to an e-mail from Joe Clark about how HTML5 keeps <tfoot> but 
removes headers="" and how accessibility experts can contribute to HTMLWG.)

Joe Clark wrote:
> Did you notice they are letting us put tfoot at the bottom of a table now?

Yes, I had noticed that [1]. Perhaps it's because what little use of <tfoot>
exists has it placed at the end of the table? Or that source order being a
mismatch for DOM order is technically illogical? You could join the HTMLWG
and ask; or log in to #whatwg using IRC and ask them.

> Does anyone use tfoot? It's just for printing.

I use it for totals [2] which you think is wrong, IIRC. Others appear to
think so, too [3]. Other uses are applied to it [4]. I don't think it's
*just* for printing; totalling of columns seems like legitimate usage to me
(but so does <tbody>, fwiw).

> Isn't this the perfect counterargument to ues against them? Allowing a
> useless presentational attribute (it's just for printing!) while trying to
> eliminate something accessibility-related?

There's things we can contribute to inform HTMLWG so that HTML5 becomes more

* Research into the current state of play in ATs [5][6] and web content [7]
is something that can't be out-argued. This is already happening.
* Getting AT vendors to pull up a chair at the HTMLWG and make clear what
they are able to implement and what is good for their users, too. Already
starting to happen via WAI UAWG.
* Getting professional website developers to say what authoring requirements
are and are not economically viable. This hasn't happened in a useful form
* Other stuff?

"Going to town" on individuals is unlikely to make the spec more accessible,
imho. I expect it would just annoy people and make them *less* favourable to
accessibility. Defeating accessibility with our personalities seems a bit
silly when we could save it by demonstrating our expertise.

But you could join HTMLWG and try any method you like [8]. I think you'd be
a great asset to the group, if you resisted being too mouthy! :-P Oh, and if
you hadn't retired [9]. :-(

[2] <http://projectcerbera.com/misc/food/2004-06>
[3] <http://www.wisc.edu/about/facts/budget.php>
[4] <http://24ways.org/examples/tables-with-style/table_default.html>
[6] <http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/TableAccessibility>
[8] <http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1173385976&count=1>
[9] <http://blog.fawny.org/2007/06/08/retired/>

P.S. If you want to raise something in HTMLWG without joining, write a blog
message and e-mail me a link. I'll forward it to the public-html mailing
list for you.

Ben 'Cerbera' Millard

Received on Saturday, 16 June 2007 21:18:22 UTC