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Re: User agent support of SUMMARY attribute in tables

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 10:49:51 +1100
Cc: <poehlman1@comcast.net>, <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: "Steven McCaffrey" <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
Message-Id: <32E2558E-2E64-11D7-8E6F-000A95678F24@sidar.org>

Another example for HTML is to use the caption element. This is 
particularly good for data tables since it allows sighted users to see 
the summary too (complex tables aren't always obvious at a glance, so 
this can be very helpful...)

But yes, I agree with your interpretation, although in general I (and 
SIDAR, in this case) recommend attempting to meet all checkpoints, even 
if your requirement is level-A - they are all there because, properly 
implemented (and sometimes that means marking them off as "not 
applicable" or realising that "user agents do now do whatever the 
checkpoint was designed to work around"), each of them is helpful to 
some stakeholder group, and because some checkpoints of low priority 
such as illustrating content with appropriate multimedia are actually 
extremely helpful.



On Thursday, Jan 23, 2003, at 07:23 Australia/Melbourne, Steven 
McCaffrey wrote:

> Hi all:
> My interpretation of,
> "5.5 Provide summaries for tables. [Priority 3] For example, in HTML, 
> use the "summary" attribute of the TABLE element."
> has three parts.
> First, it has lowest priority, priority 3 so only important if you are 
> trying for AAA (triple A).
> Second, since there is no qualifier before "tables" I assume the text 
> that follows applies to all tables, data and layout.
> Thirdly, it just says summary attribute is an example if using HTML, 
> presumably allowing non-html ways to provide a summary (is there a CSS 
> way to do this?)
> What 5.5  requires  is a summary.
> I interpret "For example, in HTML"
> as implying "if not using HTML, a different example applies".
> If using HTML, then use the summary attribute as the mechanism for 
> providing the summary.
> So, in my opinion, Bobby or any accessibility tool using 5.5 as 
> written above should flag any table using HTML to give a summary that 
> does not have a summary attribute.
> I'll have to check the techniques document to see if any other HTML 
> method other than the summary attribute is given and what non-HTML 
> examples there might be.
> Just my 2 cents,
> Steve
Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
Fundación SIDAR                       http://www.sidar.org
Received on Wednesday, 22 January 2003 18:50:39 UTC

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