W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > June 2009

RE: Disambiguating @summary from a long descriptor

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 09:36:36 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Boris Zbarsky'" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Cc: "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>, "'Gez Lemon'" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, "'Steve Faulkner'" <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>, "'Gregory J. Rosmaita'" <oedipus@hicom.net>, "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, "'www-archive'" <www-archive@w3.org>, "'Janina Sajka'" <janina@rednote.net>, "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>
Message-ID: <02db01c9e9e9$bf6b93c0$3e42bb40$@edu>
Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> Would it make sense to add a datastructure attribute (or some other more
> suitable name), require UAs to look for the relationships between data
> cells in that attribute and then in @summary in that order, and make use
> of @summary a validator warning or some such?  And make sure that the
> spec has some examples of tables and corresponding @datastructure

The current Design Principle states:
	"2.3. Do not Reinvent the Wheel - If there is already a widely
used and implemented technology covering particular use cases, consider
specifying that technology in preference to inventing something new for
the same purpose. Sometimes, though, new use cases may call for a new
approach instead of more extensions on an old approach."

We can go 'round-and-'round on the "widely used" part of that sentence,
but there can be no argument that it is currently implemented in both user
Agents and AT today, which lends serious weight to the general concept of
not reinventing any wheels. I have not read or heard of any new use-case

It is becoming increasingly clear that, as Josh O'Connor wrote [1], there
needs to be a disambiguation of @summary, and clear, precise guidance on
its usage, which evidence is showing was clearly lacking in HTML4 (i.e.
better "specify that technology").  However I seriously question
jettisoning @summary for @datastructure simply to address existing holes
in usage and intent of @summary.

My $0.02


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jun/0362.html 
Received on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:37:18 UTC

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