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Re: How to make complex data tables more accessible to screen-reader users

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sun, 05 Jul 2009 18:16:01 -0400
Message-ID: <4A512621.8080602@intertwingly.net>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: public-html@w3.org
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Sun, 5 Jul 2009, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> I would encourage you to review and update the following wiki page:
>>
>>   http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/SummaryForTABLE
> 
> I've looked through this wiki page a number of times, but I don't know how 
> to update it. Most of the changes I would make would removing what I 
> consider weak or irrelevant arguments (for example, "We should investigate 
> any and all solutions that would help users (all users) understand the Web 
> better." is not an argument against the summary="" attribute), which I 
> presume would not be acceptable.
> 
> Could you elaborate on how you would like me to update it?

Per action 126[1], I would like to see that the Wiki page adequately 
reflects both (all) viewpoints.  If you have nothing to add at this 
time, that's fine.  Please don't remove text that you feel is weak or 
irrelevant.  Refactoring[2] the page, however is fine, as long as care 
is taken to ensure that points of view that you happen to disagree with 
aren't lost in the process.

>>> I would welcome input from the chairs regarding how to resolve this 
>>> issue.
>> I would encourage you to work with Joshue O Connor:
>>
>>   http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/actions/128
> 
> Could you elaborate? What should we do together?

"Draft @summary voting text in conjunction with PF".

I previously placed a link to your note into the action item itself, and 
plan to discuss your input on Thursday's call.

I am not in favor of a vote at this time, but if and when it comes to 
that the goal is to have a set of text for the vote that we can agree 
upon and a single wiki page that captures all points of view.

Issue 32 has been in the issues list since 2008-02-07, and the current 
status of all of the actions is available for all to see.  Not everybody 
can keep up with the firehose that is public-html, nor can everybody 
make the time to attend the call, but the goal here is to have a single 
place to record everybody's point of view (i.e., the wiki) and to have a 
single set of text upon which we can vote upon (i.e., the output of 
action 128).  Again, you are welcome to contribute to both, in fact, I 
am actively encouraging you to do so.

>> First, I don't believe that anybody has put forward a design which 
>> enjoys consensus that covers the use case of a "holistic overview" which 
>> is explicitly intended as a "closed caption for the visual impaired".
> 
> I don't think there is even consensus that there should be a solution 
> specifically for the visually impaired to the exclusion of other people.

Closed captioning on television does not mean that I am excluded from 
seeing it, in fact I have televisions which provide me the option of 
displaying such text.  My set will even do so automatically when I push 
'mute'.  I don't see anything about the web that is inherently different 
or makes such extraordinarily difficult to do so.

>> I personally think that ARIA is of a higher priority at this time, and 
>> would hope that work could begin and proceed in parallel while this 
>> group is waiting for the ARIA group to respond to last call feedback.
> 
> Please tell us how to resolve the table explanation issue. Other issues 
> are being addressed in parallel, but we also need to move forward with 
> _this_ issue, regardless of whether it is a high-priority issue or a 
> low-priority issue.

Update the wiki page as you see fit.  Work with Joshue O Connor on 
action 128.

Additionally, you mentioned Rob's proposal.  I believe that if his 
proposal was done in isolation and was, in fact, the only update to your 
draft then the resulting draft would feel a bit inconsistent.  However, 
I sense that it is a part of a larger intent to revisit the notion of 
author conformance requirements.  If so, it would be premature to hold a 
vote at this time.

In all cases, I believe that the people who are working on this deserve 
an opportunity to complete their tasks.

- Sam Ruby

[1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/actions/126
[2] http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiRefactoring
Received on Sunday, 5 July 2009 22:16:48 UTC

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