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RE: [#293] Summary for tables

From: Chris Brainerd <Chris.Brainerd@cds.hawaii.edu>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 13:09:42 -1000
Message-ID: <4394F66E688EBD418EFD4431FC3AECBD181FCB@lahaina.cds.hawaii.edu>
To: "Al Gilman" <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, "WAI GL (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

If screen readers speak the summary attribute you may be contributing to
web page 'noise' while not providing useful information to the user.
This reminds me of well-intentioned but poor advice to add ALT text to
every image, even those used solely for decoration.

Chris Brainerd
Instructional Designer
Real Choices ACCESS
Center on Disability Studies
University of Hawaii

-----Original Message-----
From: Al Gilman [mailto:asgilman@iamdigex.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 8:45 AM
To: WAI GL (E-mail)
Subject: Re: [#293] Summary for tables

This comment from Phill Jenkins:


The summary attribute was not discussed in the June 9th proposal.  It is
the one attribute unique to layout and data tables that could be used to
help confirm that, in fact the should's and must's have been followed
and in fact this table is or is not a layout table.  The convention I
have been proposing is to use the keyword "layout" in the summary
attribute text.

When the table is a layout table, the summary attribute text SHOULD
include the text word "layout".

When the table is a data table, the summary attribute text SHOULD NOT
include the text word "layout".

This convention will help checking and repair tools, authoring tools,
users, and assistive technology better create, repair, identify, and
render tables as intended. Of course tools could assume that because of
the presence or absence of TH the table is or is not a data table, but
the presence of the "layout" will confirm the intent that it is a layout

Phill Jenkins


[June 9th proposal is a reference to a lightly edited re-send of


in which the reason for leaving SUMMARY out got left out.  Compare with

Received on Wednesday, 18 June 2003 19:09:43 UTC

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