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Re: Summary of Thursday's IRC conversation about @summary

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2009 08:25:52 +0000 (UTC)
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, 'Jonas Sicking' <jonas@sicking.cc>, 'David Singer' <singer@apple.com>, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0906080816340.16244@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Mon, 8 Jun 2009, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> > (and again: "The wider web is not an example of good practice.")
> Is there a less wide web where @summary actually serves it's purpose 
> well?

This question was asked before, and a less wide web consisting of pages 
written or maintained by authors with a high level of motivation to 
correctly use summary="" were offered. However, a study of that data 
actually showed that the use of summary="" on those pages was a net loss 
to the accessibility of pages for people who did not use ATs. (Indeed, 
those pages were a big part of the reason why I proposed using <caption> 
instead of summary="", to make the table help text universally accessible 
instead of making it only visible to certain users.)

A detailed analysis of this "less wide web" can be found in this e-mail:


...starting from the paragraph that reads "Thank you! Real data always 
helps us make better decisions".

If anyone can find another "less wide web" that actually shows usage of 
summary="" that is actually optimal, I would be very happy to examine this 
data. As far as I'm aware, no new data has been brought up since that 
February e-mail.

(Notwithstanding that, I will be looking at many of the summary-related 
e-mails that were sent in the past few days as I go through the 
outstanding collected feedback.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 8 June 2009 08:26:25 UTC

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