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Subject: Re: [office] Recommendation to deprecate the is-subtable attribute

On Sat, 2007-16-06 at 19:08 -0400, robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
> I received a request from a colleague on the Accessibility
> Subcommittee related to nested tables.  The request is for us to
> deprecate the use of the is-substable attribute in section 8.2.6.
>  This attribute does not work well with screen readers and the
> enhanced support we have in ODF 1.1 and 1.2 is preferred for nested
> tables. 
> A more detailed analysis of the issue is here: 
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office-accessibility/200608/msg00048.html 

The argument made in that message appears convincing if we only talk
about text documents. In the case of spreadsheet documents, I disagree
with the argument. While I am not aware of a current spreadsheet
implementing subtables for spreadsheets, there is a useful use case for
them as far as formulas are concerned that return arrays. In that case
the addressing "problem" identified in msg00048.html is in fact
desirable: it makes semantically much more sense to address the base
location of the formula with sub indices for the individual parts,
independent from the final screen presentation. 

I think the real problem is that some word processor developers are
using these sub tables for things that semantically are not subtables.
This is little reason to weaken the odf format itself.

"Liberty consists less in acting according to
one's own pleasure, than in not being subject 
to the will and pleasure of other people. It 
consists also in our not subjecting the wills 
of other people to our own."  Rousseau

Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Guelzow
Dept. of Mathematical & Computing Sciences
Concordia University College of Alberta

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