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Thread: Missing support for scope="rowgroup" attributes within tables

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From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Sat, May 17 2014 5:25PM
Subject: Missing support for scope="rowgroup" attributes within tables
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Hey gang

I have been playing around with trying to make rowgroups header cells
within tables. However I am coming up empty as far as screen reader
support for this attribute.

I could post a whole html example here if people want, but the idea is
that we can have an entry that serves as the row header for multiple
rows in a table.
<th scope="rowgroup" rowspan="3">
..
would serve as the row header (possibly along with others) for 3 rows
in a table.
So
<tr>
<th rowspan="2" scope="rowgroup">Microsoft</th>
<th scope="row">Ms Office</th>
<td>Joe Schmo</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<th scope="row">Ms Visual Studio</th><td>Jim Schmo</td></tr>
should have screen readers read "Microsoft Ms Office" as the row
header for the Joe Schmo column and "Microsoft Ms Visual Studio" for
Jim Schmo.

When you implement the same with colgroup and colspan you get
consistent results in both Jaws and NVDA.
However the rowgroup scope attribute is not picked up by either, in IE
or Firefox.

The questions I have:
1. Does anyone know if this is a failure of the assistive technology
vendors, or is this a more fundamental problem within the browser's
accessibility API (this is a valid markup as far as I can see)?
2. Is there any difference if these tables are exposed as ARIA grids
rather than tables(grid inherit all the underlying table attributes)?

Obviously I am going to start playing around with markup and testing
(I have a much more accurate and complete markup that I am playing
with myself), so I will provide answer to my questions fairly easily,
but I wanted to just see if someone else has encountered this problem
and has experience or opinions about this.
Cheers
-Birkir



--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Sailesh Panchang
Date: Mon, May 19 2014 6:46AM
Subject: Re: Missing support for scope="rowgroup" attributes within tables
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JAWS has the most robust support for scope and does read the row
header cell when the group changes both in FF and IE.
Example at
http://mars.dequecloud.com/demo/Table-multi-colWithRowspan.htm
One does not experience this when using NVDA or VO on Safari.
Thanks,
Sailesh

From: John Foliot
Date: Mon, May 19 2014 9:24AM
Subject: Re: Missing support for scope="rowgroup" attributes withintables
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Sailesh Panchang wrote:
>
> JAWS has the most robust support for scope and does read the row header
> cell when the group changes both in FF and IE.
> Example at
> http://mars.dequecloud.com/demo/Table-multi-colWithRowspan.htm
> One does not experience this when using NVDA or VO on Safari.
> Thanks,
> Sailesh

Hey Sailesh,

So, to re-state your comment, there are bugs in both NVDA and VO with regard
to scope support. (True / False / Other).

If there are bugs, are you aware if they have been filed at the respective
companies?

As a general comment (for the broader list) identifying a bug is a great
thing, following up to ensure that the bug is report is even better :-)

If you need help with filing the bugs, ping me off list and happy to assist.

JF

From: Sailesh Panchang
Date: Tue, May 20 2014 8:04AM
Subject: Re: Missing support for scope="rowgroup" attributes within tables
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Hello John,
Poor support for the scope attribute is not new.
Window-Eyes never supported the scope attribute.
See http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/Techniques/ua-notes/html#H63
Till a few versions ago, even JAWS' support for rowgroup was lacking
and this is embodied in the first sentence of the above user agent
notes.
I had written to Apple Accessibility team over a year ago covering a
handful of issues including poor support for the scope attribute.
The bug reporting process was very inaccessible which Apple
acknowledged and accepted the email filing.
In 2013, NVDA would not honor headers-id method if the headers
attribute referenced a TD cell with an id ... valid in HTML4. See NVDA
bug #3244.
(and by extension, td with a scope attribute) ... they said it is a
Firefox issue.
So I had filed a bug with Firefox too (881048 ).
HTML 4 recognizes that in reality in complex tables it is not
possible to always markup all header cells as TH. So an id or scope on
a TD cell is permissible and this is documented. But this is illegal
in HTML5 which is a problem. I have noted this before on other lists
too.
It is fine if one can mark up all header cells as TH. But when one is
constrained, id or scope on TD cells should be alright.

Thanks and regards,
Sailesh


On 5/19/14, John Foliot < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Sailesh Panchang wrote:
>>
>> JAWS has the most robust support for scope and does read the row header
>> cell when the group changes both in FF and IE.
>> Example at
>> http://mars.dequecloud.com/demo/Table-multi-colWithRowspan.htm
>> One does not experience this when using NVDA or VO on Safari.
>> Thanks,
>> Sailesh
>
> Hey Sailesh,
>
> So, to re-state your comment, there are bugs in both NVDA and VO with
> regard
> to scope support. (True / False / Other).
>
> If there are bugs, are you aware if they have been filed at the respective
> companies?
>
> As a general comment (for the broader list) identifying a bug is a great
> thing, following up to ensure that the bug is report is even better :-)
>
> If you need help with filing the bugs, ping me off list and happy to
> assist.
>
> JF
>
>
> > > >

From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Tue, May 20 2014 8:17AM
Subject: Re: Missing support for scope="rowgroup" attributes within tables
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Hi Sailesh,

On 20 May 2014, at 16:04, Sailesh Panchang < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> in reality in complex tables it is not
> possible to always markup all header cells as TH

out of curiosity: could describe in which cases using a TD on a header cell cannot be avoided?

Thanks,

Olaf

From: Sailesh Panchang
Date: Tue, May 20 2014 11:55AM
Subject: Re: Missing support for scope="rowgroup" attributes within tables
← Previous message | Next message →

Olaf,
Refer to:
"Note that it's not always possible to make a clean division of cells
into headers or data. You should use the TD element for such cells
together with the id or scope attributes as appropriate".
under 11.4.1 Associating header information with data cells.
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/tables.html#adef-scope

There's no problem when one has complete control on designing and
marking up tables.
But sometimes one is trying to make very complex financial / census
data type tables with colspan / rowspan and rows that are grouped
accessible and the developers may be forced to not make a cell look
different by changing markup from TD to TH as it happens in HTML4.
Sometimes in a simple table, the row header cell is in the second
column and not the first and one does not want a cell in the 2nd
column to look bold and centred.

I believe the HTML 4 note above concerns situations like these.
Regards,
Sailesh


On 5/20/14, Olaf Drümmer < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Hi Sailesh,
>
> On 20 May 2014, at 16:04, Sailesh Panchang < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> in reality in complex tables it is not
>> possible to always markup all header cells as TH
>
> out of curiosity: could describe in which cases using a TD on a header cell
> cannot be avoided?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Olaf
>
>
> > > >

From: Michael Moore
Date: Wed, May 21 2014 12:15PM
Subject: Re: Missing support for scope="rowgroup" attributes within tables
← Previous message | No next message

Hi Birkir,

This sounds like a continuation of the problem where the screen reader does
not recognize rowspan but does recognize colspan. My personal opinion is
that this is the fault of the screen reader but since it is unsupported on
all screen readers that I know of the problem probably is deeper than that.
The only work around that I know is to put id's on the row header cells and
use the headers attribute to associate each data cell with the appropriate
row headers. This is a major pain in the tail and it is not unique to HTML.
The same issue exists with PDFs that contain more than one column of row
headers.

Mike


On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 6:25 PM, Birkir R. Gunnarsson <
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> Hey gang
>
> I have been playing around with trying to make rowgroups header cells
> within tables. However I am coming up empty as far as screen reader
> support for this attribute.
>
> I could post a whole html example here if people want, but the idea is
> that we can have an entry that serves as the row header for multiple
> rows in a table.
> <th scope="rowgroup" rowspan="3">
> ..
> would serve as the row header (possibly along with others) for 3 rows
> in a table.
> So
> <tr>
> <th rowspan="2" scope="rowgroup">Microsoft</th>
> <th scope="row">Ms Office</th>
> <td>Joe Schmo</td>
> </tr>
> <tr>
> <th scope="row">Ms Visual Studio</th><td>Jim Schmo</td></tr>
> should have screen readers read "Microsoft Ms Office" as the row
> header for the Joe Schmo column and "Microsoft Ms Visual Studio" for
> Jim Schmo.
>
> When you implement the same with colgroup and colspan you get
> consistent results in both Jaws and NVDA.
> However the rowgroup scope attribute is not picked up by either, in IE
> or Firefox.
>
> The questions I have:
> 1. Does anyone know if this is a failure of the assistive technology
> vendors, or is this a more fundamental problem within the browser's
> accessibility API (this is a valid markup as far as I can see)?
> 2. Is there any difference if these tables are exposed as ARIA grids
> rather than tables(grid inherit all the underlying table attributes)?
>
> Obviously I am going to start playing around with markup and testing
> (I have a much more accurate and complete markup that I am playing
> with myself), so I will provide answer to my questions fairly easily,
> but I wanted to just see if someone else has encountered this problem
> and has experience or opinions about this.
> Cheers
> -Birkir
>
>
>
> --
> Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
> > > >