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Re: how to deal with TABLE heartburn

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 09:31:26 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199710221331.JAA24344@access4.digex.net>
To: dsr@w3.org (Dave Raggett)
Cc: w3c-wai-hc@w3.org
to follow up on what Dave Raggett said:

> On Tue, 21 Oct 1997, Al Gilman wrote:
> 
> > There is another distinction which figures prominently in my
> > thinking.  This is the distinction between the display axes
> > and the axes of a conceptual model of the information, which
> > may have different, or more than two, axes.
> 
> The intent of the scope/axes attributes is to allow authors
> to provide the associations between headers and the cells
> to which they apply. It turns out that the distinction between
> header and data isn't quite so clean. Some cells act as both.
> What matters is the ability to describe a cell's content in
> terms of what other cells relate to it.
> 

The distinctions among a) data values that are not key b) data
values that are key and c) data descriptions for sets of data
values -- are all clear from best current practice in data
engineering and Object Oriented Analysis.

The usage of TH/TD has not been consistently aligned with the
actual semantics of the table contents.  That is HTML's problem,
not a problem with the concepts.

> 
> > This leaves me with the objection that the AXES concept is being
> > stretched too far.
> 
> I don't see why. All you get is a means to associate headers with
> other cells, including the means to define hierarchies of headers.
> 

That is what you get.  That is not what you promise by the "axes"
name and discussion of the multidimensional space analogy.  Axes
are scales, are datatype definitions.  Not all the "headers" you
want to link to are axes.  The name promises stronger semantics
than the attribute provides.  It's a misnomer.

-- Al
Received on Wednesday, 22 October 1997 09:31:53 UTC

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