Re: summary="" in HTML5 ISSUE-32

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 12:20 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <> wrote:
> On Feb 25, 2009, at 11:37 AM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> If we added an attribute like summaryfor="idOfTable" to the <p>, would
>> that address all the problems you have with this proposed solution? Or
>> adding a summaryIn="idOfPara" on the <table>. I'm not suggesting this
>> as a solution, merely trying to understand your complaints with the
>> <p> solution.
> I believe ARIA already provides the markup to express this in a way that
> generalizes to all elements, namely aria-describedby.

This is very interesting. Could this be used as a replacement for
@summary then? Are there any use cases not supported by such a

This also brings up an interesting question: Is there a reason why
only <table>s need summaries? I.e. couldn't a <ol> or <section> be in
just as big need for the functionality @summary was intended to
provide in HTML4? Or are tables considered inherently more complex and
thus in a bigger need for summaries?

If summaries would indeed be useful for more things than tables I
think all currently proposed solutions fail this fairly important use
case. Including the solution currently in the current HTML5 drafts
since only <table>s have <caption>s.

The only suggested solution to that problem seems to be
aria-descriebedby (or the naive version that I proposed in the above
mail). This solution also has the benefit of allowing richer content
in summaries, such as <em> and <a>. This would address a criticism
that @alt often receives, that it lives inside an attribute rather
than in elements, which I would think applies equally to @summary.

/ Jonas

Received on Monday, 2 March 2009 09:40:44 UTC