Sat, 29 Apr 95 22:41:42 EDT

I want to comment just on the very last part of Harvey's very useful
analysis of the new table model. He writes:

> I assume the default way to define the column into which a TH or TD
> falls is next one in order, left to right, obeying and skipping
> rowspanning encroaching from above, and counting colspan amounts.

I've always assumed the same thing.

> Is it valid to ignore cells at the right that would otherwise have
> no content? Or does the semantics for axis and axes values extend
> to this use?

Interesting question, if I understand it correctly. Work is currently
going on in the print disability community on prototype software (I've
not seen this, only heard about it) which deconstructs a table into
its component pieces based on, in our model, the axis names. The role
I'm imagining for the axis/axes attribute values on the TD cells is
of "buckets" into which this content is placed, probably automatically,
from such tools. The AXIS name given in the TH cell is to ensure that
the AXES names on a data cell make sense, are reliable, are what would
be needed to reconstruct the table from a database or vice versa. (Where
the simple case of a database is the list of AXES followed by the content
of the data cell.

> Since the axis name can differ for each cell in a column (or in a row)
> how does that help to reuse those in the axes model: Is an axis value
> used only once per table,

I don't think anyone could ever specify that. In the use I had imagined,
the set of AXES, (that is, the set of AXIS names) which led to a specific
TD would have to be unique, but in the common example

| | |
| Tea | Coffee |
| | | | |
| Loose | Bagged | Loose | Bagged |
| | | | |
| 123 | 234 | 654 | 987 |
| | | | |
| 124 | 235 | 864 | 8879 |

I expect the markup would be something like:

<TH COLSPAN="2" AXIS="Tea">Tea</TH>
<TH COLSPAN="2" AXIS="Coffee">Coffee</TH>
[it would be the same if the actual content
of the cell were "The Best Coffees in the
World, Organized Alphabetically"]
<TH AXIS="Loose">Loose</TH>
<TH AXIS="Bagged">Bagged</TH>
<TH AXIS="Loose">Loose</TH>
<TH AXIS="Bagged">Bagged</TH>

<TD AXES="Tea Loose">123</TD>
<TD AXES="Tea Bagged">234</TD>
<TD AXES="Coffee Loose">654</TD>
and so forth

> and then referred to by successive axes values? Is there a column/row
> pair or hierarchy of column/hierarchy of row pair useful to specify
> axes?
> An alternative use for axis, rather than as a locator, is as an
> alternative description. That would be useful if a graphic were in a
> cell. [Suggested by the comment, default is text content.]

I think we need to keep the alternative description to an ALT attribute.
No matter what the content of a cell, graphic or otherwise, if there are
headings associated with it (col or row) they and only they should appear
in the AXES.


Yuri Rubinsky +1 416 239-4801
SoftQuad Inc.
Suite 810 56 Aberfoyle Crescent Internet:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M8X 2W4 Fax: +1 416 239-7105