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RE: Summary in Tables


From: John Foliot - bytown internet
Date: Oct 21, 2002 4:41AM


Providing a summary for redundant or useless information is taxing on users
of screen reading technology. "This is a bag used to carry things" does not
really ever need to be articulated... most people can figure that much out
on thier own (not that it even really needs to be contemplated...). "This
tear-resistant bag has been scientificly developed over 5 years of testing"
on the other hand provides extra information about the object (the bag) in

Thus, tables who's sole purpose is to render layout features to the user GUI
are not really "Tables" in the formal sense of the word, but rather
"wireframes" used in the layout of the page and really does not require a
Summary. True Data Tables with appropriate use of headers, etc. would
require the Summary attribute however... and that may in fact be a good
"rule of thumb". If the Table has <th>'s then it should have a Summary as
well. (NOTE: There will be exceptions!)



> -----Original Message-----
> From: jebs webs [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Sent: October 19, 2002 11:31 PM
> Subject: Summary in Tables
> What is the correct way to use the Summary statement in Tables used for
> layout purposes?
> I have always used a Summary statement SUMMARY="Tables on this
> page used for
> layout purposes only." A recent conversation with a colleague contradicted
> this indicating that the Summary is only used in Data Tables.
> I just went through the W3C WAI standards and it can be interpreted either
> way.
> Comments welcome...
> John E. Brandt
> Augusta, ME 04330
> http://home.earthlink.net/~jbrandt04330
> www.jebswebs.com <http://www.jebswebs.com>;
> ----
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