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RE: HTML5: First Public Working Draft Released

From: Marjolein Katsma <iamback4now@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 07:09:55 -0700 (PDT)
To: Chris Hoffman <christopher.a.hoffman@gmail.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <371041.85063.qm@web38907.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

Sorry I'm late jumping in on this, but reading the HTML 5 draft I was
pretty horrified to see that practically all accessibility features
have been removed - not just not required, but actually removed.

--- Chris Hoffman <christopher.a.hoffman@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 2008-02-04 at 08:45 -0600, Robison, Cole [EISU] wrote:
> > I noticed [the missing @headers attribute], too. The scope
> attribute
> > is still there. Are there cases it can't cover, for which headers
> > and/or axis would still be needed?
> For some reason it's not very easy to find tables that can't be
> marked
> up sufficiently with @scope attributes.

Actually, it's very easy. A calendar face used for navigation, like
those often used on blogs, is a good example. I designed the code for
my own travel blog ( http://blog.iamback./com/ ) after quite a bit of
discussion here and valuable advice from from members of this list. It
uses @axis and @headers, as well as @summary and @abbr. In my opinion,
he same /information/ simply cannot be conveyed using just @scope. Note
that a calendar face for one month may contain days of the previous &
next months and the attributes used make this clear - there is no way
@scope can do this!

That's not a theoretical example, but a very practical one. The problem
is that not many blogs actually take pains to use accessible markup for
the calendar.

> One good thing I can say about HTML5 is that there is an actual,
> explicit algorithm for determining which header goes with which cell
> based on the @scope attribute, and, even better, _in the absence of
> any
> scope attributes at all_. This means that AT vendors have a standard
> way
> to parse the vast majority of tables that have no accessibility
> information aside from the presence of header cells (which let's be
> honest is the vast majority of data table on the Web).
> Because there are tables that don't fit into that majority, however
> (as
> linked above, for example--and small minorities is really why at
> least
> I'm here), I would like to see the @headers attribute returned to the
> spec. I propose that neither it, nor @scope, should be required, as
> the
> automatic scoping algorithm covers most situations. But it should be
> there for when we need it.

@axis should be returned as well - it's very important for interpreting
the semantics of complicated tables.

> And if the @headers attribute is lost to the ashes of HTML4? Then I
> say
> that , where we have to, we continue using it anyway. AT and even
> browser vendors have a long history of embracing the actual practices
> of
> the Web when the standards do not.

I agree. And I certainly do not intend to change my calendar markup
just to comply with HTML 5 - I will change it if someone can come up
with good arguments for change to enhance accessibility though.

> If we use the @headers attributes, then the attributes will be used.

I do use @headers - and @axis, and @summary as well.

Marjolein Katsma
Travel blog: http://blog.iamback.com/
General blog: http://my.opera.com/JavaWoman/
Report spam: http://banspam.javawoman.com/report3.html

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Received on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 14:10:10 UTC

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