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Re: role="presentation"

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper@tverskov.dk>
Date: Thu, 14 May 2015 09:57:47 +0200
Message-ID: <CAAuwN4FMxDRmpb1k6wbwf2v8OcRgcLLD4yKbynr1-GAFHa--7g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Thank you Jonathan for this lovely CHESS example.

If we markup a snapshot situation of a CHESS game in a table, we even
have proper column headers and row headers for the 64 cells.

I don't think we can find just one person saying that this CHESS table
is a data table in the conventional sense of a train time table or a
data table of sport results.

But what happens if we put in role="presentation"? The content of the
table becomes meaningless in a screen reader. If we regard the CHESS
table as a true data table, users of screen readers get a very rich
interface of navigation and the content becomes easy to understand.

In this CHESS table example, the use or not use of role="presentation"
has dramatic consequences. If we use it the screen reader gets
nothing, if we don't the screen reader gets it all.

In my opinion role="presentation" should not be used mechanically just
because a table is for design or doesn't look exactly like a
conventional data table.

When it comes to tables, the design/data divide is often irrelevant.
Any table should be regarded as a true data table no matter how weird,
if it provides a much richer and easy to understand interface for the
screen reader.

Users of screen readers are just as hopeless or clever as I am. They
are so used to millions of bad design tables not using
role=presentation, that my use of such "not exactly a data table"
doesn't stick out.

On the contrary. The will regard my solution as a not 100% correct but
a natural use of a table because it contains rich relationships
brought alive by pretending it is data table.


On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 2:38 PM, Jonathan Avila
<jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com> wrote:
>> . It is certainly interesting, and a part of the whole "what is a data table" question that doesn't seem to have a really clear answer
> I also think the idea is very interesting as there could be edge cases where it has merit.  One semi related scenario is graphical builder type applications where you can drag and drop/cut and paste objects into an area to create something.  I've been examining using a grid role potentially without headers to provide some semantic location such as coordinates for these generic types of objects.  Similar things could be done with games I suppose such as checkers or chess where you would have row and column coordinates but it is not tabular data as we traditionally consider it.
> Jonathan
> --
> Jonathan Avila
> Chief Accessibility Officer
> SSB BART Group
> jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com
> Phone 703.637.8957
> Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Blog | Newsletter
> -----Original Message-----
> From: chaals@yandex-team.ru [mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 7:03 PM
> To: Jesper Tverskov; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: role="presentation"
> 12.05.2015, 10:42, "Jesper Tverskov" <jesper@tverskov.dk>:
> ...
>> I would like to hear, if you agree, that we should always do what is
>> the most accessible, not just follow guidelines in a formalistic
>> manner.
> I think it is hard to imagine someone disagreeing and maintaining a lot of respect, without very careful reasoning.
> But the problem comes with the details. What works for one or two groups of users really well can cause serious problems for a different group. Knowing when to deviate from the common approach is, I think, much more difficult than it seems...
> Knowing how to double down, achieving both what you wanted but didn't find in the "standard approach" while not throwing that away, is part of the real art in what we try to do.
> I'm still pondering your specific case - in part because I have had very little time to reflect. It is certainly interesting, and a part of the whole "what is a data table" question that doesn't seem to have a really clear answer…
> cheers
> Chaals
> --
> Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex chaals@yandex-team.ru - - - Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:58:16 UTC

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