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Re: Draft text for summary attribute definition

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 2009 04:35:08 +0100
Message-ID: <49AA026C.8090300@malform.no>
To: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
CC: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Gez Lemon 2009-03-01 02.45:
> 2009/3/1 Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>:

>> I certainly don't want to contribute to the confusion between caption and
>> summary. Version B tries to reduce the confusion by being explicit about how
>> to craft summary and captions (and with Leif's section also a more complete
>> specification for crafting a caption). My view is that we only contribute to
>> the confusion by not addressing these issues.
> I think the HTML 5 specification should simply state the purpose of
> the summary attribute as unambiguously as possible, maybe with a
> simple example, and point to WCAG 2.0 for advice on how to use the
> summary attribute.

My version, "version c - for caption", only differs from the first 
version, "version a", by defining @summary as an attribute of 

	<caption summary="Summary text."></caption>

Rationale: With the author in mind.

(1) While it *functionaly*, makes some sense to keep @summary as a 
global attribute (since the user might want to listen to the 
summary even when he is in the middle of the table - just like a 
visual user might call up table@title wherever he is), evidence 
shows that mentally and "meta-wise", authors needs to discern 
caption from summary. Therefore they need to see the two in the 
same context.

(2) <caption> is a "meta element". @summary is meta info.

(3) <caption> isn't used in layout tables. @summary isn't either.

(4) caption@summary is simpler to to work with via CSS. This makes 
it simpler to test (aka "display") caption@summary in visual user 
agents than it is to display table@summary.

table@summary should be deprecated = fully valid, though, as 
Julian proposed.

It is a total misunderstanding if anyone thinks that my proposal 
is mixing <caption> and @summary. (But that doen't mean that it 
isn't possible that table@summary could a better choice than 
caption@summary, all things considered.)

(The text isn't ready though, but since I perceived Rob to say 
that I write about <caption> in itself, I had to say this. Ok, I 
may be mented <caption>, but only because I see @summary as an 
attribute of <caption> )
leif halvard silli
Received on Sunday, 1 March 2009 03:35:54 UTC

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