Re: Review UA Guidelines 5.4 Tables

Thank you for your comments Harvey,

At 02:22 AM 2/24/99 -0500, Harvey Bingham wrote:
>5.4 Ensure that tables are accessible
>[Rather than the first paragraph jumping into complex tables, I'd start with
>the distinction layout table vs data tables.]
>Tables are used to organize data, and in HTML have been used to layout
>pages where the parts of the table are unrelated.
>Data tables have distinct TH head cells and TD data cells. The TD cell
>content gains gain implicit identification from TH cells in the same 
>column and/or row.
>Tables are also used to achieve limited control over two-dimensional layout
>of information otherwise unrelated. For these layout tables, a user agent
>can assist the reader by indicating that no relationship should be expected.
>Use of TH cells just for their formatting purpose in layout tables is
>discouraged, as those TH cells imply that some TD cells should gain meaning 
>from the TH cell content.
>5.4.2. Provide access to header information for a given cell.
>Suggest that the user may choose the form and amount of this
>information, possibly announcing the row heads only once and then
>the column head or its abbreviation abbr="..." to announce the TD content.
>5.4.3 [Priority 1] 
>Allow the user to navigate among tables in a document. 
>I question the need to navigate among tables, "table-tabbing". Most 
>tables stand alone. I certainly doubt it is Priority 1. 
>If an author feels it is important to link the tables, that author 
>should provides a list of tables (LOT) with hyperlinks to the tables. 
>If such is present, then the table order is deemed significant for the 
>reader, and that list should suffice. I believe there is no need for a 
>user agent to facilitate this. If the author is concerned, an 
><a href="..." rev="LOT">...</a> pointing back to the list of tables
>should suffice.
>5.4.4 Allow the user to navigate among table cells of a table (notably
>left/right within a row and up/down within a column). 
>Navigation must maintain cognizance of encountered cells with
>implicit content resulting from spans.
>That assumes that the table writing direction is left-to-right.
>The natural language of the table may cause the table to have dir="rtl", 
>right-to-left for order of the cells in a row (and order of letters in
>a word, and words in a phrase.) Any row stub TH cells will by 
>default be on the right, rather than on the left. The colspan horizontal 
>spanning direction is leftward, so the right-most cell contains 
>the content. That content is not repeated in cells to its left.
>That can get further obscured if the writing directions change row-to-row,
>say to allow boustrophedon writing (as the oxen plow)!
>Regards/Harvey Bingham  
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248

Received on Wednesday, 24 February 1999 09:42:34 UTC