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RE: [html-techs] Table Type

From: Yvette P. Hoitink <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 18:30:02 +0100
To: "'Chris Ridpath'" <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>, "'WAI WCAG List'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E1Aqbi1-0001ar-KO@smtp1.home.nl>

> I agree that there will be grey areas but let's see if we can 
> clarify most of them.
> > Hypothetical example: If I have have a 2x2 (layout) table 
> to divide my
> text
> > in two rows with headers to the left in separate cells...
> >
> Here's the table I think you're describing:
> <table>
> <tr><th>Heading 1</th><td>Some text.</td></tr> 
> <tr><th>Heading 2</th><td>More text.</td></tr> </table>

I meant this:

<tr><td><h1>Reasons to do this</h1></td><td>We should do this
<tr><td><h1>Reaons against doing this</h2></td><td>We should avoid this
because.... </td></tr>

I think we can all agree headings in layout tables should still be marked as
headings. Since this is in my opinion a layout table, I don't think TH
should be used.

> I believe that this could be a layout table with improper use 
> of the TH element. Remove the first column of TH elements. 
> Place the heading text within the TD elements and mark it as 
> such (i.e. H2).

This doesn't achieve same visual effect. The headings now appear above the
text, not to the left. If I want them to the left without using CSS, I can
use tables to achieve this. (The consensus was that we were not going to ban
layout tables.) This makes the above an example of a layout table where the
meaning of the cells change when you move the cells. That's still in the
grey area according to me :-) 

> > I see no value in using the semantic
> > markup for data tables here so to me this is definitely a 
> layout table...
> >
> TH elements are semantic markup and should not be used in 
> your example table.

I totally agree with you, see above.

> > A more interesting example is if you use a table to do the 
> layout of a
> form
> > (labels in column 1, inputs in column 2) ...
> >
> Here's what I think you're describing:
> <form>
> <table>
> <tr><td><label for="id1">label 1</label></td><td><input type="text"
> id="id1"/></td></tr>
> <tr><td><label for="id2">label 2</label></td><td><input type="text"
> id="id2"/></td></tr>
> </table>
> </form>

Yep, that's the basic example. 

> Yes, grey area. Technique 14.4 already says to label form 
> controls so the use of TH may be optional here.

But label doesn't always cover it. See the Genlias example in my original
post which has two columns of inputs where the meaning of an input is
derived from both the 'label' and the column title.

Yvette Hoitink
CEO Heritas, Enschede, The Netherlands
E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
Received on Tuesday, 10 February 2004 12:30:35 UTC

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