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Re: PF Response: @Summary

From: Stephen Stewart <carisenda@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 16:34:08 +0100
Cc: HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <F7B25014-3688-47A2-B1E9-CA0D8CA7441A@gmail.com>
To: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>

On 8 Jul 2009, at 19:01, Jim Jewett wrote:

> [...]
> 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
> 12/26/2005)"
> "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.)

This email is effectively a +1.

I like the idea of HTML5 saying that @summary should be generated  
where possible and where no @summary content exists. If a UA could not  
generate an @summary from a table I'd authored, for whatever reason,  
I'd be encouraged to try and fix the table so a summary could be  
generated, which may have the knock on effect of better table  
authoring in my case (perhaps something like validator.nu could say  
"this table will not generate a summary", or something like that, once  
I'd tested my HTML against it).

At any rate it seems to me that auto-generated summary's would be a  
huge win for accessibility in this area.

> -jJ

Stephen Stewart
Received on Thursday, 9 July 2009 15:34:51 UTC

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