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Short URL: http://html5.org/r/2866

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SVNBugCommentTime (UTC)
2866[Authors] [Conformance Checkers] [Tools] Make it clear that layout tables are wrong. Suggest that tools use heuristics to detect them anyway. Allows browsers to use the summary='' attribute.2009-02-24 02:49
Index: source
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--- source	(revision 2865)
+++ source	(revision 2866)
@@ -25191,12 +25191,34 @@
   more than one dimension, in the form of a <span
   title="concept-table">table</span>.</p>
 
-  <p class="XXX">we need some editorial text on how layout
-  tables are bad practice and non-conforming</p>
-
   <p>The <code>table</code> element takes part in the <span>table
   model</span>.</p>
 
+  <p>Tables must not be used as layout aids. Historically, some Web
+  authors have misused tables in HTML as a way to control their page
+  layout. This usage is non-conforming, because tools attempting to
+  extract tabular data from such documents would obtain very confusing
+  results. In particular, users of accessibility tools like screen
+  readers are likely to find it very difficult to navigate pages with
+  tables used for layout.</p>
+
+  <p class="note">There are a variety of alternatives to using HTML
+  tables for layout, primarily using CSS positioning and CSS
+  tables.</p>
+
+  <p>User agents that do table analysis on arbitrary content are
+  encouraged to find heuristics to determine which tables actually
+  contain data and which are merely being used for layout. This
+  specification does not define a precise heuristic.</p>
+
+  <p>If a <code>table</code> element has a <code
+  title="attr-table-summary">summary</code> attribute, the user agent
+  may report the contents of that attribute to the user.</p>
+
+  <p class="note">Authors are encouraged to use the
+  <code>caption</code> element instead of the <code
+  title="attr-table-summary">summary</code> attribute.</p>
+
   <p>The <dfn title="dom-table-caption"><code>caption</code></dfn> DOM
   attribute must return, on getting, the first <code>caption</code>
   element child of the <code>table</code> element, if any, or null

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