OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

dita message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Looking for input on table summary proposal 13085

I've got a proposal on the table to provide a way to specify summaries for
tables. This is a requirement for many in order to meet accessibility
guidelines for XHTML. The summary is basically a way to specify explanatory
text about the table, which is picked up by screen readers; it's in an
attribute on the table, so it's only "visible" to screen readers.

This is not quite the same as the <desc> element we have for tables today -
mostly because that is originally designed to be a description available to
everybody, placed as visible content along with the table, and thus seen by
people viewing the page as well as by those using screen readers.

In working on this, I see that HTML5 renders @summary obsolete on tables.
Instead, the <details><summary/></details> construct should be used to
provide a summary of the table. Like our <desc> element, HTML5 expects this
summary content to be rendered by default; some tutorials I found suggest
using CSS to hide it in cases where it is truly only intended for screen
readers. This <details> element is broader than a simple table summary --
it can be used all over the place to provide additional details about an
element. One tricky part though is that while our desc can contain very
complex markup, <summary> in HTML5 is intended for phrase like content,
followed by additional markup inside of <details> that is typically
rendered as its own block.

I'd like to discuss this at our meeting this week or next, to see whether
the TC feels that a new element exclusively for table summaries is a good
idea (particularly from anybody already working in depth with HTML5). The
main things now making me wary are:
* HTML5 obsoletes @summary, so the use case I originally envisioned for
this element should disappear over time.
* HTML5 has a new mechanism for table summaries, which is very similar to
our existing markup
* Any solution I'm proposing now would be explicitly for tables, while the
new HTML5 capability is much broader

Thanks -

Robert D Anderson
IBM Authoring Tools Development
Chief Architect, DITA Open Toolkit (http://dita-ot.sourceforge.net/)

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]