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

Hello Joshue,
My main question is:
how does someone say this technique is invalid / cannot be   sufficient when 
- An h-tag is valid in HTML 4.01 and in a TD cell of an HTML5 table
- It helps users and developers and is AT supported.

If I interpret David MacDonald's emails and notings,  I believe he seems to  see the value in it too
I believe there are more who consider this to be a very pragmatic approach.

The WCAG-WG inserts a sentence  saying 'even though the absence of an alt attribute on an image is invalid, we deem it is alright if one wants to use an aria-labelledby on a static image to convey text alternative'. Absence of an alt attribute as a failure as per WCAG1, S508 and WCAG2 F38 / F65. All tools and accessibility practitioners call this out as a failure.  
A static image is not a rich element for which ARIA is intended.
The use of a title attribute is deemed sufficient despite  user agent issues noted and lack of keyboard support or other techniques are deemed sufficient even  when a single AT like JAWS supports it.
And the techniques doc documents that  an SC can be met by other means  too ... I assume basically because all techniques cannot be documented for practical reasons.
I did see the discussion and notings in minutes of  Oct 22
The minutes disregarded  the  fact that this complex table has a summary attribute  which explains the  ttable's structure which I highlighted is past emails is a critical part of the suggested technique.
So I am really  really lost in  trying to understand the motivation behind the reasoning for not considering the use of h-tags as a sufficient in certain situations as documented.
Code that is not valid gets a special note, saying, it is not important but we bless this technique as valid. And things that is valid, works with AT, helps users and developers and promotes accessibility is not deemed sufficient?
So please document  how you decide something is sufficient even though not valid. Without this, the  response as documented in the minutes is incomplete and unacceptable.   
There is discussion and documentation that Joshue sent me  which indicates that many disagree with HTML5 requirement that headers attribute of a data cell should only reference TH cells and not TD cells when HTML4.01 recognizes this reality.   
HTML5 table specs itself clearly states that user agents should render  the non-conforming (as per HTML5) summary attribute.
As of today, HTML5 is not a recommendation. 
WCAG2 SC 4.1.1  does not fail use of  deprecated attributes. 

Sailesh Panchang
On Wed, 10/9/13, Joshue O Connor <> wrote:

 Subject: Re: Complex table with headings (h3, h4 etc.) to group data rows
 To: "Sailesh Panchang" <>
 Cc: "" <>
 Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 6:22 AM
 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
 > Thanks for your time and pardon my persistence.
 Not at all, thanks for your persistence!
 > Regards,
 > Sailesh
 > [1]
 > --------------------------------------------
 > On Tue, 10/8/13, Andrew Kirkpatrick<> 
 >   Subject: RE: Complex table with
 headings (h3, h4 etc.) to group data rows
 >   To: "Sailesh Panchang"<>,
 >   Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 2:07
 >   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
 >   -----Original Message-----
 >   From: Sailesh Panchang []
 >   Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 1:08
 >   To:
 >   Subject: Complex table with headings
 (h3, h4 etc.) to group
 >   data rows
 >   Refer to table#2 on this page:
 >   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 understandÂ
 >   context in terms of group headers.
 (Only JAWSÂ  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)Â
 >   should be used in the table ... the
 method may not be
 >   appropriate if one needs to use more
 than one level of
 >   headings.Â
 >   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 Sunday, 27 October 2013 02:42:18 UTC