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

Re: Draft text for summary attribute definition

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2009 11:11:58 -0500
Cc: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, 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>
Message-Id: <A6C7AF8E-C441-41C9-B71A-0D9E5F243A3D@handsontechnologeyes.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
right, but we are talking here exclusively about data tables since  
we'd like to seee tables for lay out go away unless we can so  
constrain the markup that the differences between the to are highly  
notable.  It will be quite confusing to combine caption with summary.

On Mar 1, 2009, at 11:00 AM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:

Gez Lemon 2009-03-01 11.19:
> 2009/3/1 Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>:
>>> 1: The summary attribute isn't a property of the caption element,  
>>> but a
>>> property of the table itself (its purpose is to describe how to  
>>> read the
>>> table, not how to read the caption).
>> Could it become a real problem that authors would  think that
>> caption@summary is describing how to read the <caption>?
> Yes, it would be a problem.

Of course, yes. But this is not what I asked. So I answer myself: It  
is unlikely to happen that authors will think that @summary is a  
summary of the caption content. After all, what would a summary of a  
tittle be? A one word sentence?

> The summary attribute is a property of the
> table, and in no way related to the caption element. All it would do
> is add confusion to something that already seems confused. I don't see
> the point in making it more confusing.

Don't you see <caption> as a property of the table?

Perhaps we should say that it is meaningless to a have separate  
caption element. It would be better to have a @caption attribute of  
<table> so that authors understsand for certain that caption is  
related to the table.

>> It is exactly because authors needs to understand the difference  
>> between
>> titling and summarizing that they need to be close.
> Relating unrelated concepts does not aid understanding.

@summary and <caption> are both related and unrelated.

>>> 2: There isn't a strong relationship between the caption element  
>>> and the
>>> summary attribute; the caption element isn't required, but that  
>>> doesn't
>>> mean a summary shouldn't be provided.
>> Both <caption> and @summary are optional. So why not keep the  
>> optional meta
>> info in the same element?
> Because making the summary attribute dependent on the caption element
> reduces opportunities where the summary attribute can be used - if a
> caption isn't provided, it's impossible to provide a summary with this
> proposal (unless you provide an empty caption element, but the caption
> element shouldn't be empty if it's provided). As the summary attribute
> is no way dependent on a caption, serves a completely different
> purpose, and is a valuable accessibility attribute, it doesn't make
> sense to reduce the opportunities to provide a summary attribute.

As you admit below, caption@summary doesn't reduce any opportunity  
where it can be used. For instance, no one would add - in David's  
words - "narrative" (aka @summary) to a layout table. And neither  
would they add a title (aka caption). So they two are *extremely*  
related.

>> In my proposal, caption will be needed to provide a summary, (as  
>> long as you
>> want to write undeprecated code). <caption> itself can be empty  
>> though. As
>> long as <caption> is emtpy, it will not caption any attention in  
>> visual user
>> agents.
> An empty caption element is an ugly hack just to make the summary
> attribute dependent on the caption element.

We can discuss if it is a hack. But you have not hit the spot when you  
characterize why I propose this.

You are mistaking me for anothor ghost.

>> The only drawback I see here is that it will require more to add the
>> @summary since one needs to add the emtpy caption element first.
> The fact the summary attribute is in no way related to the caption
> element is also a drawback.

This remdinds my about me and my wife. When I say "similar", she say  
"no, completely different".
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Sunday, 1 March 2009 16:12:42 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 29 October 2015 10:15:43 UTC