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Re: PF Response: @Summary

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 14:01:09 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560907081101k9589ae5ied42ad2febd4cd9e@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>, "W3C WAI Protocols & Formats" <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, wai-liaison@w3.org, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>
On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 12:52 PM, John Foliot<jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
> Jim Jewett wrote:
>>... spend their time writing better alt text, and
>> better captions, and better table header cells.

> None of those others provide what summary provides.

True, but they are also useful, and some to the same population -- and
they aren't always provided, because of time.  Would 7 extra alt tags
be worth more than a mediocre table summary?

> If summary is to be obsoleted, then deliver on the
> specific need that it was trying to address,

Agreed -- which is why I keep asking what a good summary *should* look
like, so that I can try to address the need.

So let me give some examples, and ask what would be acceptable.
Starting with the same sample table at
http://juicystudio.com/wcag/tables/complexdatatable.html, would any of
the following be acceptable summaries?  I ask because I think the
browser could generate these automatically, so if one of these is
acceptable, it could serve as the replacement for @summary.

"Displays Child Investment, Type, Status, Allocation, TCO, ROI, NPV,
Property, and Running Cost"

"Displays Child Investment, Type, Status, Allocation, TCO, ROI, NPV,
Property, and Running Cost (broken down by 12/12/2005, 12/19/2005, and

"7 columns with merged rows, a property column, and running cost for
each of 12/12/2005, 12/19/2005, and 12/26/2005"

"Displays merged rows of Child Investment, Type, Status, Allocation,
TCO, ROI, and NPV.  Each row is split by Property to show the Running
Cost for each of 12/12/2005, 12/19/2005, and 12/26/2005."

I will freely grant that it should be possible to do even better by
hand.  But I believe the browser could generate any of these four by
hand -- so if any of these are "good enough", then such an algorithm
should be specified -- and the question is whether to use it in all
cases, or only when there is no (supposedly) handbuilt summary.  (The
algorithm isn't trivial, so it isn't worth specifying in detail unless
it will be helpful.)

Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2009 18:02:14 UTC

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