NOTE: The current preferred location for bug reports is the GitHub issue tracker.
Bug 535 - Make it clear that layout tables are wrong. Suggest that tools use heuristics to detect them anyway. Allows browsers to use the summary='' attribute.
Make it clear that layout tables are wrong. Suggest that tools use heuristics...
Classification: Unclassified
Component: General
All All
: P2 normal
Assigned To: Henri Sivonen
Depends on:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2009-05-27 14:24 CEST by Henri Sivonen
Modified: 2009-05-27 14:32 CEST (History)
0 users

See Also:


Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.
Description Henri Sivonen 2009-05-27 14:24:22 CEST
Index: source
--- source	(revision 2865)
+++ source	(revision 2866)
@@ -25191,12 +25191,34 @@
   more than one dimension, in the form of a <span
-  <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
+  <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