RE: FW: [html] Summary draft

Ian Hickson wrote:
> I couldn't find any description of what problem this proposal is trying
> to solve. 

Then, frankly, you are being obstinate and not reading the email properly.
I quote the 3rd and 4th sentence in the first paragraph:

(1) "One goal was to clarify when a "hidden" summary, only used by those
who can't see the relationships implied by table layout, should be used,
and when a visible description of the table (such as in a caption or
surrounding text) is more appropriate." 

Seems pretty clear to me.  Goal = clarification. 

(2) "It also uses 'guidance to conformance checkers' rather than
obsoleting the @summary attribute." 

Goal = confirms that @summary is not obsolete, but deserves to be
'flagged' by conformance checkers to provide accurate and balanced author

What exactly do you not understand in those 2 sentences?

Problem: It is not clear to content authors when using @summary is
appropriate, and when other means and methods would be more useful.  The
current draft text is biased in its 'suggestions' and needs a more even
approach, complete with usable samples vetted by the accessibility
community - both supplied in Cynthia's draft text (which, we will all
note, she proposes and asks for feedback on, rather than just inserting it
faites-a-complis, like so much other text in the draft spec).  We already
know that *you* think that it is never appropriate to use @summary, and
your opinion is duly and publicly noted.  However, the 'consensus'
position is that it has both a use and appropriateness that goes beyond
your opinion.

Problem: The current draft shows @summary to be fully conformant as an
attribute of the table element, yet elsewhere suggests that this is an
obsolete attribute.  Since you can't suck and blow at the same time, which
is it? Conformant and part of the specification, or obsolete? 
Bug #7539 ( 

> Could you point me to the description of the issue that is being
> resolved here? Why is the text currently in the HTML5 spec not
> considered acceptable middle ground?

The "middle ground" which was agreed to some weeks back was that @summary
would become fully conformant, but that it could/would signal (via
conformance checkers) a message that circles back and offers author advice
that there might be other options to consider.  PFWG were asked to author
that advice, as they are the go-to subject matter experts.  If you have
issue with their proposed text, then say so, but feigning ignorance as to
what the issue is simply illustrates an unwillingness to listen to those
that disagree with your opinion.

> It is difficult to evaluate proposals without understanding what
> problems they are trying to solve.


It is text that has been authored by one person (you), as opposed to a
draft text, which Cynthia has floated, that has been authored by and
commented upon by many people, and more closely reflects the consensus
position of the communities affected. 

> Incidentally, I believe the process that we are supposed to be following
> these days is that when there is a problem in the spec, a bug should be
> filed describing the problem, so that the issue can be tracked. If you
> could file a bug (or point me to the relevant bug if one is already
> filed), that would be very helpful.

First bug number outlined above.  If you want me to file a second bug that
says that many people disagree with Ian Hickson's draft text, and that we
want the community's text inserted instead, I will be only too happy to


Received on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 01:34:41 UTC