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Re: Issues of @summary and use of data for "decisions"

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 13:58:23 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270906231158s71a4c4d2gf890511af843ca63@mail.gmail.com>
To: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>
Cc: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 1:46 PM, Simon Pieters<simonp@opera.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 23 Jun 2009 20:14:40 +0200, Laura Carlson
> <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Sam wrote:
>>> "why do we need @summary as opposed to
>>> something else or even nothing at all"
>> Could break existing content that uses the summary attribute unless
>> summary attribute and summary (or equivalent) element were synonymous.
>> For backwards compatibility UAs could accept either @summary or
>> <summary> (or equivalent) element, while the spec could encourage the
>> use of the element in place of the attribute.
> That's what HTML5 already does, except the element is called "caption"
> instead of "summary".
>   If a table element has a summary attribute, the user agent may report
>   the contents of that attribute to the user.
>   Note: Authors are encouraged to use the caption element instead of the
>   summary attribute.
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/tabular-data.html#the-table-element
> I have heard arguments along the lines of "but captions and summaries are
> different" or "but captions should be short, summaries long", but I have not
> heard any argument as to why the user agent needs to be able to distinguish
> between the caption and the summary. (I might have missed it, please provide
> a pointer if so.)
> --
> Simon Pieters
> Opera Software

Now regardless of what you think about summary, the two are not the same.

To merge summary into caption is to eliminate summary and redefine
caption. User agents do handle the two differently. For instance,
summary isn't printed out to the page; caption is.

So not only is this path causing confusion as to how to use summary,
it's also redefining one of the older HTML elements.

It really is a sloppy approach.

Received on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 18:58:58 UTC

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