W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > August 2008

Re: table headers - clear description of problem

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 06:58:01 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0808250458u4c31cb0aif116a155ffe3dc8b@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org

Ian wrote:

>  If that is the problem with the headers issue, then there isn't a problem
>  as far as I can tell. Just the normal issue of implementations not yet
>  being complete, and issue that will hopefully go away as implementors add
>  support for HTML5.

PFWG's advice stated,
"AT have small markets; they can only afford easy algorithms. The
reason that 'headers' got picked up rapidly and 'scope' didn't was in
part the following peformance comparison: The screen reader had a
table cell in its sights, and had received a 'hunh?' query from its
user. It needed to contextualize this table cell. To answer this query
by 'scope' the AT would have to search the table for TH cells (often
misused for styling) and then check the 'scope' on each. If the author
used 'headers' there was an attribute on the object at hand pointing
to a short list of what more to say".

"A disability constituency currently uses and depends on this feature:
anyone offering to remove it should be expected to demonstrate that
the replacement works better and is in service. Dropping 'headers'
because 'scope' could afford the same semantics in 'most of the cases'
is a wrong decision; now or, taken in isolation, for the future. The
headers/id technique provides functionality today. If it is to be
worked out of the system, it should not be an abrupt drop. Transition
it out with something better in an orderly and graceful manner."

Grandfather it into the spec until it can be demonstrated that the
HTML5 replacement works better and is in service.

Best Regards,
Laura Carlson
Received on Monday, 25 August 2008 11:58:37 UTC

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