Re: Request for PFWG WAI review of summary for tabular data

Hi Janina,

The HTML working group has continued debating the table summary issue.
To move the issue toward resolution, PFWG's comments and guidance on
the following would be greatly appreciated.

On August 6 2008, Al Gilman wrote:

> Here is a summary of how PFWG sees the situation as regards
> @summary on <table> in HTML:
> 1. @summary should stay
> 2. It provides a needed service
> 3. element content providing this info, *if linked by markup to the
> table* offers growth to even better practice
> 4. Don't have the linking markup yet; is a developmental item
> 5. evolution not revolution says: keep @summary at least until
> alternatives are deployed and stable
> There are lots of details to be worked out, and we would like
> to continue discussing those with you. But the above summarizes
> how we see and approach the matter.

1. Does PFWG continue to see the situation as Al Gilman described in
his August 6, 2008 message to the HTML working group?

2. Does the "Steps to Implement PFWG Recommendations" approach
continue to meet WAI's needs? In particular, does PFWG recommend
adding a <summary> element or equivalent to HTML5 and removing
@summary once its replacement is accessibility supported?

3. Do you have any comments, suggestions, or guidance on the short
term, mid-term, and long term solutions? Are they in line with WAI's

4. Would PF have any objections to allowing a <summary> element or
equivalent to have an "open" display attribute similar to the one on
the <details> element [1] which would allow it to be available not
only for the blind/non-visual use case but for a sighted use case?

5. To help fulfill step one of the "Steps to Implement PFWG
Recommendations" members of HTML working group composed spec language.
Several versions of RFC 2119 compatible @summary definition text for
HTML 5 have been drafted and are in the Wiki.
We are trying to eliminate ones that won't work for one reason or
another [2].  Are any of the versions not acceptable? Which would best
fulfill the needed accessibility functionality? Are there any
improvements that PFWG would suggest? Additional options have also
been discussed on public-html [3].

The latest published HTML draft does not yet incorporate a summary
attribute or element.

For reference, the "Mechanism to Summarize a Table" issue is detailed at:

Thank you. Looking forward to your input.

Best Regards,

Laura L. Carlson

Received on Monday, 4 May 2009 11:50:33 UTC