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Re: Taking another round at @summary

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2010 16:07:03 +0100
To: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Cc: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, Jeremy Keith <jeremy@adactio.com>, HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20100108160703995507.2149f56f@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Aryeh Gregor, Thu, 7 Jan 2010 23:16:23 -0500:
> On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 8:06 PM, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
>> Why can't the contents of @summary be made visible?
> It's just an attribute, so it can't really be styled fully.  Even if
> authors could make it visible, they wouldn't, because it would be
> ugly. 

It is quite possible to make it visible via CSS. [1] 

One of the suggested alternatives to @summary is to use <details> 
inside <caption>. But it should be entirely possible to implement 
@summary so that it can work much like <details> - namely, that it 
would show when you click a button or something. Some such solution is 
even possible via CSS - as my demo shows. 

> aria-describedby points to an element, which can be styled
> fully, so authors targeting a mainly sighted audience will be willing
> to use it.

@summary is a specialized kind of caption. For captions/labels, then 
ARIA has @aria-labelledby. However, both @aria-describedby and 
@aria-labelledby fail to tell users what kind of description they 
provide - they don't say that they point to a table summary. To make 
@aria-labelledby an alternative solution, then, in order to comply with 
WCAG 2.0 - which requires that any table summary can be 
programmatically determined - it seems to me that it would eventually 
be necessary to specify *when* @aria-labelledby should be interpreted 
as pointing to a summary container. E.g the rule could be that when 
placed inside the caption tag (<caption aria-labelledby="xyz">), then 
it points to a table summary. There should also be rules for where the 
summary label should appear: in an element inside the caption or just 
before the table.

The sighted audience does however not see or feel any effect 
@aria-labelledby - in that sense it is as unintuitive for sighed 
authors as @summary.

[1] http://malform.no/html5/summary+css
leif halvard silli
Received on Friday, 8 January 2010 15:07:41 UTC

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