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

Re: summary="" in HTML5 ISSUE-32

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 01:40:01 -0800
Message-ID: <63df84f0903020140t301ea798ne476f1805a226749@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>, Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, Steve Axthelm <steveax@pobox.com>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org, janina@rednote.net, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "W3C WAI Protocols & Formats" <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 12:20 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
> On Feb 25, 2009, at 11:37 AM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> If we added an attribute like summaryfor="idOfTable" to the <p>, would
>> that address all the problems you have with this proposed solution? Or
>> adding a summaryIn="idOfPara" on the <table>. I'm not suggesting this
>> as a solution, merely trying to understand your complaints with the
>> <p> solution.
> I believe ARIA already provides the markup to express this in a way that
> generalizes to all elements, namely aria-describedby.

This is very interesting. Could this be used as a replacement for
@summary then? Are there any use cases not supported by such a

This also brings up an interesting question: Is there a reason why
only <table>s need summaries? I.e. couldn't a <ol> or <section> be in
just as big need for the functionality @summary was intended to
provide in HTML4? Or are tables considered inherently more complex and
thus in a bigger need for summaries?

If summaries would indeed be useful for more things than tables I
think all currently proposed solutions fail this fairly important use
case. Including the solution currently in the current HTML5 drafts
since only <table>s have <caption>s.

The only suggested solution to that problem seems to be
aria-descriebedby (or the naive version that I proposed in the above
mail). This solution also has the benefit of allowing richer content
in summaries, such as <em> and <a>. This would address a criticism
that @alt often receives, that it lives inside an attribute rather
than in elements, which I would think applies equally to @summary.

/ Jonas
Received on Monday, 2 March 2009 09:40:46 UTC

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