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Re: smart verbosity for table headers (was: headers= and rowgroup)

From: Ben 'Cerbera' Millard <cerbera@projectcerbera.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 02:19:25 +0100
Message-ID: <005d01c7f7ff$a132ca50$0201a8c0@ben9xr3up2lv7v>
To: "Leif Halvard Silli" <lhs@malform.no>
Cc: "HTMLWG" <public-html@w3.org>

"Mainstream" tables are those which appear on websites with a broad appeal 
(i.e. mainstream websites). For example, sports websites have a [broad 
appeal] and the data tables they carry are essential for keeping track of 
your favourite team. Just about everyone in the UK is familiar with the 
Premier League [soccer results] table, for example.

A strategy which automatically makes accessible the tables most people are 
interested in would be a big win for accessibility, imho. Not just sports 
tables, of course.

A strategy which requires specialists to author every table is good for me. 
That would guarantee I'll always have paying work! But relying on a handful 
of specialists to retrofit accessibility to every table ever written would 
take a very long time. That's why I'm looking into new algorithms to make 
tables automatically accessible. Several others are helping with this. The 
more the merrier, I say. :-)

Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> I can only encourage you to go on with that.

Why be so unambitious? You can work pro-actively on table accessibility! 
Everyone can!

For example, you could see how common it is for tables to be deliberately 
optimised for use with the HTML4 basic algorithm. You could find ATs which 
implement the HTML4 table algorithm. You could annotate real-world tables to 
see how effective the HTML4 algorithm is in the tables authors are 
producing. There's all sorts of helpful research you could be doing.

You might surprise yourself. Things I'm finding while collecting data tables 
are surprising me. You might surprise us all. But you'll only find out if 
you try.

[broad appeal] Search for "very mainstream" in this message: 
[soccer results] <http://www.premierleague.com/page/LeagueTable/>
[tens of thousands] <http://abilityhub.com/>

Ben 'Cerbera' Millard
Collections of Interesting Data Tables
Received on Sunday, 16 September 2007 01:20:22 UTC

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