Caption and summary survey

When it tested Jaws, I  understood that my demo version did not work as 
Joshue descibred. [1]

So, I decided to set up a test. The test is now online. [2] Anyone can 
try it themselves, to check my results or report another UA. Please 
notify me about your results. I tested 6 screen readers and one Jaws 
simulator (Fangs).

I have configured the UAs I tested as little as possible. The task was 
only to get them to read the page from top to bottom. For the commercial 
readers, I only used demo versions, with default set-up.

This is what I tested: What does the User Agents render first, when it 
meets a table 1) with only a caption, 2) with only a summary or 3) with 
both a caption and a summary?

Results in words: Jaws, opposite of all others except Firevox, always 
read @summary before both caption and table info. The Fangs simulator 
apparently did what it *thought* that Jaws did (hence, it read Caption 
first). The FireVox reader OTOH, exactly copied Jaws and put caption 
last. The Windows Eyes demo did not read summary. Safari also didn't 
read summary. Wheras Opera (the mac os x version, voiceover based, like 
Safari), did read the summary. I found Hal to be the most logical one - 
it read summary *after* the general table info *always*, also when there 
were only summary, and no caption.

EVALUATION: Jaws bashing!  Questions: Has Jaws always had this behavior? 
Are they changing it? It seems like Jaws must have created much 
misunderstanding w.r.t. how summary is supposed to work.

Note: about tables below: When the results below say "Table info", then 
it is meant general info about how big the table is, that the UA tells 
the user. The number refers to a particular result link on the test 
page.  Jaws 10/S = Simple Text mode.  Jaws 10/L = Screen layout mode.

Test results tables:

Results Caption test:
 Jaws 10/S: 2. Table info, Caption
 Jaws 10/L: 2. Table info, Caption
       Hal: 3. Caption.
W Eyes 701: 3. Caption.
 Safari/VO: 3. Caption only.
 Opera 963: 3. Caption only.
Fangs sim.: 3. Caption, Table info.
 FireVox 4: 2. Table info, Caption.
  EXPECTED: 3. Caption, Table info.

Results Summary test:
 Jaws 10/S: 3. Summary, Table info
 Jaws 10/L: 3. Summary, Table info
       Hal: 2. Table info, Summary
W Eyes 701: 1. No summary reading.
 Safari/VO: 1. No summary reading.
 Opera 963: 3. Summary.
Fangs sim.: 3. Summary, Table info.
 FireVox 4: 3. Summary, table info.
  EXPECTED: 2. Table info, Summary.
        OR: 3. Summary, Table info.

Results Caption + summary test:
 Jaws 10/S: 6. Summary, Table info, Caption.
 Jaws 10/L: 6. Summary, Table info, Caption.
       Hal: 5. Caption, Table info, Summary.
W Eyes 701: 4. Caption. Not summary.
 Safari/VO: 4. Caption. Not summary.
 Opera 963: 4. Caption only.
Fangs sim.: 5. Caption, Tab info, Summary
 FireVox 4: 6. Summary, Table info, Caption
  EXPECTED: 4. Caption, Table info, Summary.
        OR: 5. Caption, Summary, Table info


Leif Halvard Silli

Received on Friday, 20 February 2009 06:36:29 UTC