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operational concept for table browsing

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 1997 11:40:27 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199710011540.LAA17213@access1.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-hc@w3.org (HC team)
I think I need to articulate some of the assumptions I am
operating under.

One is that, while it is well and good to talk about how one
would do a full readout of a table under different sub-class
hypotheses, that interactive browsing of the table is more
critical to successful use by speech users.

I have been assuming that HTML needs to have enough semantic
content to fully support the following operational requirements
for table browsing.

     - Each operational requirement is followed by an assessment of
     what is felt to be the flow-down to change requirements in
     HTML.

1.  Cell focus.  The user needs to be able to focus on any
individual cell.  That means that the content of a cell can be
read out in entirety without interference from content from
outside the cell.

     - This is adequately supported in the HTML.  It may require
     some enhancements to communication between browsers and
     access adaptors.

2.  Cell navigation.  The user needs to be able to move the cell
focus around in the table.  The minimum capability is discrete
stepping through the cells independently in row and column
dimensions.

     - This is adequately supported in the HTML.  It may require
     some enhancement to the command repertory of browsers.

     - Enumerators use for row/column coordinates may be
     a topic for styling language.  Go-to-cell by coordinates
     may be supported but is beyond the minimum requirement.

3.  Cell explanantion.  The user needs to have the option to be
presented a definition of the variable that the cell contents
evaluates.  Compare with the colloquial "If that's the answer,
what's the question?"  This is analogous to the normally-hidden
cell formula in a spreadsheet.

     - This requires new provisions in HTML.  The axis/axes/abbr
     innovations now in the 4.0 draft are one design to support
     this.  This design is open to further discussion.  But changes
     have to come with convincing expectation of higher performance
     and low impact.
Received on Wednesday, 1 October 1997 11:40:45 UTC

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