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Re: Draft text for summary attribute definition

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 2009 17:24:09 +0100
Message-ID: <49AAB6A9.2060507@malform.no>
To: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
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>
David Poehlman 2009-03-01 17.11:
> 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.

Why, when both belong in data tables?

Leif H. S.


> 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".
Received on Sunday, 1 March 2009 16:24:54 UTC

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