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Re: Request for PFWG WAI review of @summary for tabular data

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 22:39:10 +0100
Message-ID: <48ADE07E.3040504@cfit.ie>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>

Ian Hickson wrote:
> It would be quite useful to see how poorly-sighted users, especially those 
> who aren't necessarily computer experts like us interact with pages that 
> are primarily intended to be about an image or another, for example 
> viewing albums and uploading photos to Flickr, Picasa, etc. I wouldn't 
> presume to request such studies, but if you are interested in doing other 
> usability studies, this is something that has the potential to be quite 
> interesting.

I am glad that you interested in my doing some more usability testing 
analysis of the @summary etc. However I can't help but feel that to some 
degree I could be chasing my tail in doing so. The advise from PF is 
pretty unambiguous as are the comments of the many others who have 
expertise in the accessibility domain who feel @summary should be 
re-instated. [1] [2] [3] [4]

I will consider it however, time willing, as more use cases of sample 
data tables with @summary being used by a variety of AT users would I 
hope finally help resolve this issue.

>> I am hesitant to include a feature like summary="" when all evidence seems 
>> to point to it being widely misused by authors and ignored by the users it 
>> intends to help.

It's not ignored by the users it intends to help. It is a very useful 
attribute that has helped people access and understand data tables 
easily without having to interrogate them deeply - only to discover the 
table may contain data they don't need. In my job I have seen @summary 
help people in their work and have a positive impact on their lives.



[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/wai-liaison/2008Aug/0009.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/wai-liaison/2008Aug/0039.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Aug/0509.html
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Aug/0511.html
Received on Thursday, 21 August 2008 21:40:02 UTC

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