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Re: Taking another round at @summary

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2010 01:20:40 +0000
To: Denis Boudreau <dboudreau@webconforme.com>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Cc: HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20100106011940.M90843@hicom.net>
aloha, denis!

let me mantra-cize the following, at least as a way of giving your 
post a loud plus one:

Even if another mechanism was provided to replace @summary, we're still 
removing something that is useful to a lot of AT users today. Why not 
simply add a new mechanism and keep a new-and-improved @summary safe and 
sound in HTML5? 

General Statement on HTML

Even if a new mechanism is provided to replace an attribute, element or 
method introduced into HTML 4.x expressly for the purposes of 
accessibility, internationalization and interoperability, since that 
attribute, element or method is the basis of WCAG 1.0 and the rest of the 
1.0 iterations of the WAI Suite of Guidelines documents which have been, 
in turn, specifically cited by legal authorities in regards requirements 
for web content, the new mechanism should be introduced WITHOUT the 
removal of an attribute, element or method introduced into HTML 4.x 
expressly for the purposes of accessibility, internationalization and 

that's where i stand on @summary -- @summary is a long descriptor for 
that which many users obtain unconsciously through their ability 
perceive the data sets, their relations to each other and their relations 
to labelling sets: in other words, the "classic" gestalt view...

as i've stated before, @summary provides the same eureka moment that 
most users unconsciously receive through their ability to both visually 
process the information contained in a TABLE and to cognitively 
associate disparate items of information with their respective headers, 
sub-headers, background colors (so that a user could use an assistive 
technology's ability to change, for example, voice characteristics when 
the background color changes from one named color to another), etc.

therefore, there is no inherent need for the user who can perform both 
tasks by herself to have a summary presented, but there is (a) a need 
for the TABLE's structure and organization to be communicated to those 
who are parsing the TABLE non-visually, or through a VERY small 
point-of-regard and (b) no reason why a user agent, an authoring tool,
or any other program cannot provide a means to expose the content of 
@summary at a user's request -- whatever form that request takes, but 
there is NO usability need to provide ALL users with a summary which is 
intended to provide contextual and orientational information about the 
data contained in the TABLE, which the overwhelming majority of users 
will provide for themselves simply through the act of perceiving and 
processing the TABLE...

that's my 2 cents, american, gregory.
ADVICE, n.  The smallest common coin.
                    -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
             Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
  Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
Received on Wednesday, 6 January 2010 01:21:10 UTC

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