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Re: Complex table with headings (h3, h4 etc.) to group data rows

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:22:00 +0100
Message-ID: <52552E48.4030002@cfit.ie>
To: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
CC: "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Sailesh Panchang wrote:
> Dear Andrew and WCAG-WG,
> Surely all complex tables can be broken into simpler tables but that is seldom possible in real life.
> And as a user, I’d rather have a complex table with the alternative markup that makes it accessible than no accessibility markup on grounds of undue burden.

Thanks for that Sailesh, while I agree with this mood and spirit, I'm 
reluctant to codify this even as a remedial approach. However, I will 
test it a little more and bring feedback to next weeks call.

> Thanks for your time and pardon my persistence.

Not at all, thanks for your persistence!


> Regards,
> Sailesh
> [1] http://mars.dequecloud.com/demo/Census_2013.htm
> --------------------------------------------
> On Tue, 10/8/13, Andrew Kirkpatrick<akirkpat@adobe.com>  wrote:
>   Subject: RE: Complex table with headings (h3, h4 etc.) to group data rows
>   To: "Sailesh Panchang"<spanchang02@yahoo.com>, "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org"<w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
>   Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 2:07 PM
>   Sailesh,
>   My issue with this is that there is nothing in the spec that
>   says that headings (e.g. h2) should be used in this way, and
>   the user agent support for identifying table cells isn't
>   there yet.¬  When I use JAWS on your table and jump to
>   the last cell or move to an arbitrary cell in the table and
>   request the header information to establish the context it
>   only reads headers that are defined with the standard table
>   markup.¬  A user wouldn't know when or if there were
>   headings marked up in this alternative way, so to be certain
>   a user would need to hit JAWS+T every time they thought that
>   there might be an additional heading defined in this
>   non-standard way.¬  I don't see this as very workable
>   for end users, even if it has the potential to save some
>   developer time.
>   Thanks,
>   AWK
>   Andrew Kirkpatrick
>   Group Product Manager, Accessibility
>   Adobe Systems
>   akirkpat@adobe.com
>   http://twitter.com/awkawk
>   http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility
>   -----Original Message-----
>   From: Sailesh Panchang [mailto:spanchang02@yahoo.com]
>   Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 1:08 PM
>   To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>   Subject: Complex table with headings (h3, h4 etc.) to group
>   data rows
>   Refer to table#2 on this page:
>   http://mars.dequecloud.com/demo/Census_2013.htm
>   Well if one is arrowing down a column # 2or subsequent
>   column, the screen reader does announce the group header
>   because it is a TH cell./ (this is in response to Josh's
>   question during the call).
>   Use of h<n>  tags in a data table is valid code, it
>   exposes structure of the grouping within the table, allows
>   users to jump to the section of interest and then navigate
>   the table and have only row header¬  to its left and
>   column headers announced. This reduces verbosity. Yet one
>   can press JAWS+T and have nearest heading announced ... a
>   technique that is accepted for determining context of a
>   link. So one can use the same technique to understand¬
>   context in terms of group headers. (Only JAWS¬  supports
>   H80) Also one navigates a page and determines structure by
>   multiple methods: landmarks, headings, tables, lists, forms
>   etc. and not just heading navigation. So if this method is
>   used to code complex tables, users will be able to figure
>   that out.
>   Also a single level of headings (styled as needed)¬
>   should be used in the table ... the method may not be
>   appropriate if one needs to use more than one level of
>   headings.¬
>   It is a non "standard" method that is valid code and AT
>   supported.
>   I believe it is an alternative technique to headers-id when
>   one chooses not to use headers-id for whatever reason.
>   Thanks and regards,
>   Sailesh Panchang
Received on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 10:22:34 UTC

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