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Re: Disambiguating @summary from a long descriptor

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 12:57:50 -0400
Message-ID: <4A2FE60E.3060402@mit.edu>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
CC: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie, "'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>
John Foliot wrote:
> Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>> require UAs to look for the relationships between data
>> cells in that attribute and then in @summary in that order

> 	"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.

Yeah, hence my question about whether my suggestion would make sense, 
instead of me saying that we should just do what I suggest.  If it would 
be enough of a win in terms of people using the attribute correctly, it 
might be worth it for the accessibility benefits that brings.

> 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.

I didn't suggest "jettisoning".  See above, and in particular the quoted 
part of my post.  I'm suggesting having @summary work exactly as it does 
now in UAs and maybe adding a less-misuse-prone attribute that we 
recommend web developers use.  That's all operating on the assumption 
that we do in fact want to have an attribute for describing the data 
relationships in a table.  I have no opinion as to whether we do.

Received on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 17:00:18 UTC

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