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Re: Complex Table Examples

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 00:27:41 +0100
Message-ID: <4648F06D.40603@splintered.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

Ian Hickson wrote:

>>>    http://canvex.lazyilluminati.com/misc/summary.html
>> And that is representative enough?
> Not really. But it's infinitely better than nothing.

For discussions on the future of the markup language that we'll be using 
for the next decade or so (and that authoring tools will be churning out 
by default, etc), I'd suggest that more rigour would need to be applied 
in the selection process of what is and isn't representative.

>> To defend *keeping* something in the spec that works *today*
> It isn't a given that it works today.

Evidence of that?

>> and reportedly is the best solution with current levels of AT as per 
>> http://www.usability.com.au/resources/tables.cfm?
> That page doesn't say it's the best solution. It mentions it as one 
> solution (without really even saying what the problem is).

"Conclusion and request


At this stage, it appears that id and headers are the most effective way 
to make complex data tables accessible."

As for the "what the problem is" part:

"Data tables with more than one level of headers are harder to code and 
much harder for people who rely on assistive technologies to use."


"Complex Data Tables


Some data tables, for example scientific tables or those of financial 
institutions, often require more than one level of row and/or column 
heading. Once again, most people who are able to access the table 
visually will not find this a problem. However assistive technologies 
also need to be able to associate these extra levels of headings with 
the information contained in the data cells.


But which is the most appropriate?

When testing the accessibility of data tables on websites, I often ask 
experienced screen reader users to obtain specific information from the 
tables. In general, most complex data tables prove to be inaccessible. 
However, when id and headers are used appropriately, I have found that 
the tables tend to be accessible to most screen reader users."

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Take it to the streets ... join the WaSP Street Team
Received on Monday, 14 May 2007 23:27:44 UTC

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