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

Re: Draft text for summary attribute definition

From: Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 2009 10:33:10 +0000
Message-ID: <49AA6466.60907@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>
CC: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
[All individuals removed from CC list]

Composite reply, having watched the debate silently so far :

Leif Halvard Silli wrote:

> This is also related to how sighted persons perceive a table. We 
> perceive it as a collections of cells, in different relationships. To us 
> there is one "cell" - or place - that relates to all the cells, and that 
> is the caption. To add a summary for the table container becomes a 
> little bit ... abstract.

But we are not discussing where the summary should appear visually;
we are discussing where it should appear in the markup.  And in the
markup, <TABLE> is the 'one "cell" - or place - that relates to all
the cells', so it is surely as an attribute of <TABLE> that "summary"
should appear.

Gez Lemon wrote :

 > A better approach to explicitly identify layout tables would be to use
 > explicit markup, rather than interfering with an attribute whose
 > primary purpose is to provide guidance on how to read a data table for
 > people with vision impairments. Using role="presentation" on a layout
 > table is infinitely better overloading the definition of the summary
 > attribute.

Why is 'role="presentation"' preferable to 'role="layout"' here ?
I would have thought that the latter would be more transparent
to authors.

Ian Hickson wrote :

 > The spec does in fact currently prohibit [the use of layout tables],
 > explicitly, several times.

Then I think this aspect of the specification should be re-visited.
I believe that the specification should set out to address what is,
and what is not, syntactically valid HTML; I do not think that it
should attempt to define what is /semantically/ valid HTML, though
it should most certainly provide informative guidance on the latter.

Philip TAYLOR
Received on Sunday, 1 March 2009 10:33:58 UTC

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