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Re: Wizards for complex data tables

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 11:38:40 -0400
Message-ID: <003a01c562d2$28038260$9e01a8c0@deque.local>
To: <tft@u.washington.edu>, "W3C WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Deque's Ramp-Ascend is a Web Accessibility eval and repair tool that incorporates a user-friendly table remediation wizard. It inserts id and header attributes for tables with multiple row/column headers. 
The developer should be able to visually identify which cells appear to be header cells in the browser view and then highlight those cells in the wizard interface.  
It can also add the axis attribute if the user chooses to use this feature and identifies the related cells. 
Coding such complex tables- layered and irregular tables manually is very error prone. The desktop tool Deque's Ramp-Ascend makes this process very easy.
Write to sales@deque.com for more information / to request a 15-day trial version. 
Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer,
Deque Systems (www.deque.com)
11180 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite # 400,
Reston, Virginia 20191 (U.S.A.)
Tel 703-225-0380 ext 105
E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Terry Thompson 
  To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org 
  Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 6:15 PM
  Subject: Wizards for complex data tables

  Hi All, 
  What is the state of the art in tools that assist web authors in creating accessible complex data tables (including prompting authors for table header and table data relationships)? 
  The only tool I've ever seen that attempts to address this from a GUI is HiSoftware's Table Repair Utility that ships with AccRepair, which works ok but assumes the user already has expertise in table accessibility (for example, there's an option "Use the Header ID List wizard to set the values for the id attribute for the header cells that do not have one and to build the list of IDs to use as values for headers and axis attributes" - not all that intuitive for the average Joe). 
  Are there other tools/wizards available? Has anyone ever attempted to create a free web-based accessible table wizard? It seems like it would be a fairly straightforward process to script an algorithm that parses the user's HTML table (which they paste into a form), builds a multidimensional array of the table's elements and their attributes, evaluates whether the table has nested rows or columns, and prompts the user in a friendly manner for any unkwnowns such as which cells are headers and which data cells are represented by these headers, then pieces all this together to rewrite the table with accessibility added. If no one has done this, is there any reason why it would not be feasible? 
  Thanks for any input,
  Terry Thompson
  University of Washington
Received on Friday, 27 May 2005 15:31:29 UTC

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