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Re: captioning on tables

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From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Aug 29, 2013 8:05AM


2013-08-29 15:24, Stanzel, Susan - FSA, Kansas City, MO wrote:

> I am trying to add captions to tables to make an application which is
> already in production accessible. It is not coded well. They coded a
> fieldset, legend, and then the table.

I have great difficulties in seeing what that means. Is it a form
containing labels and controls in a table? I don't think such a table
needs a caption (or a summary). There should of course be information
like a heading for the page or the form.

It is not necessary to describe the structure and purpose of every
table. If a table makes perfect sense when read sequentially, rowwise,
an explanation of the structure might disturb rather than help.

> When I added the caption it was
> written to the screen.

That's pretty much how captions should be handled, i.e. captions should
be written so that they are useful to anyone using the page.

> We put a class definition on it so it could be
> hidden with CSS.

That's rather risky. How could you be sure that it is hidden if and only
if it is not needed? (Assuming it's needed at all.)

> I tried to use the summary tag. It was pointed out
> that is deprecated in HTML5.

Technically, it's declared and obsolete in the current HTML5 (but the
debate goes on).

> I wanted to take out the legend, but
> that changed the look of the page.

Now I'm really confused.

> Do any of you know what replaces the summary tag in HTML5? What are
> any other table options I can use?

This is what W3C HTML5 CR says:
"Use one of the techniques for describing tables given in the table
section instead."
which refers to
http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/tabular-data.html#table-descriptions-techniques
which describes several alternative techniques. Some of them are rather
unrealistic (e.g., relying on HTML5 novelties).

Yucca