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Re: ACTION-128: Draft @summary voting text in conjunction with PF

From: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 2009 20:21:07 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>,joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie,public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org
At 04:25 PM 7/6/2009 -0700, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

>What I don't think has been established to the level of scientifically 
>persuasive evidence is that making the attribute nonconforming for authors 
>is the only way or the best way to improve the situation in the future.
>I believe the issue would be resolved by recommending alternatives that 
>are likely to be superior, and through emitting optional warnings in 
>validators (for example, when validator.nu sees a summary="" attribute it 
>could recommend that you review whether the text is better presented to 
>all users, or if perhaps it does not add any value for users of screen 
>readers). Or at least, that seems like it would be about as effective as 
>making the attribute nonconforming for authors. The advantage would be 
>that advanced experts could still make a considered judgment that the 
>attribute is the right choice in some cases, even if most authors are 
>guided towards explanatory text that is visible to everyone.
>>Why would we continue to allow people to use an attribute that we know 
>>they get wrong all the time?
>I think highlighting effective alternatives plus optional validator 
>warnings will reduce the incidence of incorrect use. If I'm wrong and 
>these measures are not effective, then I think making the attribute 
>nonconforming would be similarly ineffective.
>Or at least, that is my position. I think it is reasonable to disagree.

That is a very interesting suggestion.

As part of QA process for books that I have worked on, we always collected 
up the tables, their numbers, titles and captions and all references, 
within the same book and from other books in our sets, to ensure that all 
the cross referencing would work, to discover places in the text where it 
was better to use a shorthand, like 'preceding table' rather than repeating 
the full table number and title over and again. similarly with figures, 
pictures, and so on. An editorial tool that gathered such useful 
collections, including summaries and long descriptions sure would make it 
easier to do the right thing.

So, would it be in keeping with your suggestion that a validator or 
editorial tool might advise one that a given document contains @summary 
information for 6 out of 12 tables present in the document, perhaps 
offering detailed information on byte offsets and/or DOM tree location, 
perhaps cataloging the @summary contents or word counts, and so on? I think 
that you are also suggesting that such a tool could at user option, 
highlight complex tables that do not have a summary value or a related aria 
link and guide the author/publisher/QA toward a suitable editorial solution.

That is a very interesting suggestion.
Received on Tuesday, 7 July 2009 00:49:20 UTC

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