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Re: Summary and datatables?


From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Sep 16, 2013 1:53PM

I would say (and I'm speaking for myself rather than the working group) that there is no requirement to provide a caption for a table, only that text that is intended to serve as a caption for a table would need to be marked up as a <caption>.

If the table doesn't have a caption it may mean that the table is less understandable than the same table with a caption (or it may not), but this doesn't fall under WCAG. WCAG 1.3.1 requires that "Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text." If the caption isn't in the presentation you don't need to mark it up as such.

Still, a caption is often a good idea for help make tables more clear, and in those cases you should use one and mark it up as a <caption>.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility
Adobe Systems


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Rabab Gomaa
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 3:29 PM
To: <EMAIL REMOVED> ; WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Summary and datatables?

Hi Karl,
Re: Would you say that *all* tables require one or the other? Why not both?
- Only data tables. Layout tables should not use caption or summary ref. http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20130905/F46

- Both Summary and caption can be used for (except for HTML 5 as summary is obsolete).
However, if both are used, the caption should not duplicate information in the summary.
ref. http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20130905/H39

>>> Karl Groves < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 2013-09-16 1:29 PM >>>
Hi, Rebab. Can you elaborate on this statement a bit? "Data tables require either summary or caption."
Would you say that *all* tables require one or the other? Why not both?
Under what circumstances could they be eliminated? "Require" is quite the
absolute statement.

On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 1:20 PM, Rabab Gomaa
< <EMAIL REMOVED> >wrote:

> Hi Nancy,
> Data tables require either summary or caption.
> - If your page is an X-HTML, you can have <summary> or <caption> to
> pass WCAG 2.0 1.3.1 and 4.1.1
> - If your page is HTML5, then you can have only <caption> because
> <summary> is an obsolete element in HTML 5. Using summary in HTML5
> will cause failure of 4.1.1.
> Ref. list of obsolete elements in HTML5
> http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/obsolete.html#obsolete
> Rabab
> >>> Nancy Johnson < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 2013-09-16 12:53 PM >>>
> I am trying to validate a page with a dynamically built data table and
> am using a Firefox addon which failed the data table because of
> lack of a "summary". Checkpoint 1.3.1 Info and Relationships.
> Question: I couldn't find much else about it, not even with the W3C.
> Can you help me out? Is a requirement for success of data tables?
> Thank you
> Nancy Johnson
> > > list messages to <EMAIL REMOVED>
> > > list messages to <EMAIL REMOVED>


Karl Groves
Phone: +1 410.541.6829