Re: Draft text for summary attribute definition

Hi Leif,

On Feb 28, 2009, at 10:35 PM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:

> Gez Lemon 2009-03-01 02.45:
>> 2009/3/1 Robert J Burns <>:
>>> I certainly don't want to contribute to the confusion between  
>>> caption and
>>> summary. Version B tries to reduce the confusion by being explicit  
>>> about how
>>> to craft summary and captions (and with Leif's section also a more  
>>> complete
>>> specification for crafting a caption). My view is that we only  
>>> contribute to
>>> the confusion by not addressing these issues.
>> I think the HTML 5 specification should simply state the purpose of
>> the summary attribute as unambiguously as possible, maybe with a
>> simple example, and point to WCAG 2.0 for advice on how to use the
>> summary attribute.
> My version, "version c - for caption", only differs from the first  
> version, "version a", by defining @summary as an attribute of  
> <caption>:
> 	<caption summary="Summary text."></caption>
> Rationale: With the author in mind.
> (1) While it *functionaly*, makes some sense to keep @summary as a  
> global attribute (since the user might want to listen to the summary  
> even when he is in the middle of the table - just like a visual user  
> might call up table@title wherever he is), evidence shows that  
> mentally and "meta-wise", authors needs to discern caption from  
> summary. Therefore they need to see the two in the same context.
> (2) <caption> is a "meta element". @summary is meta info.
> (3) <caption> isn't used in layout tables. @summary isn't either.
> (4) caption@summary is simpler to to work with via CSS. This makes  
> it simpler to test (aka "display") caption@summary in visual user  
> agents than it is to display table@summary.
> table@summary should be deprecated = fully valid, though, as Julian  
> proposed.
> It is a total misunderstanding if anyone thinks that my proposal is  
> mixing <caption> and @summary. (But that doen't mean that it isn't  
> possible that table@summary could a better choice than  
> caption@summary, all things considered.)
> (The text isn't ready though, but since I perceived Rob to say that  
> I write about <caption> in itself, I had to say this. Ok, I may be  
> mented <caption>, but only because I see @summary as an attribute of  
> <caption> )

Just to clarify I wasn't yet trying to address your suggestion in  
anything I said. Also my understanding was that Gez was more a  
criticism of what I had said than anything about your proposal.

As for your proposal directly. I don't have any strong objections to  
this approach. I also think your proposal would work equally well with  
either version A or version B. I'm still trying to think through why  
associating the table's summary with the caption is superior to  
associating it with the table itself (leaving the CSS issues aside).  
Perhaps you could say a little more about what problem this addresses.  
If we have captions always in the caption element and summaries as  
defined in either version A or version B always in the 'summary'  
attribute, what problems arise in attaching that 'summary' attribute  
to the table instead of the 'caption' element?

Take care,


Received on Sunday, 1 March 2009 04:34:08 UTC