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Re: lynx-dev Table support?

From: Chuck Martin
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Table support?
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 02:24:15 -0400

On Wed, May 05, 1999 at 09:19:39AM -0700, Dave Eaton wrote:

> thin for cell boundaries. But something similar should be able to be done
> for Lynx with short rows of dots, minus signs, and equals I would think
> so that a modified version of the iSilo scheme for lynx could render: 
>  +--------------+--------------+
>  |  row1 cell1  |  row1 cell2  |
>  +--------------+--------------+
>  |  row2 cell1  |  row2 cell2  |
>  +--------------+--------------+
> as something like:
> ==========
> row1 cell1
> ..........
> row1 cell2
> ----------
> row2 cell1
> ..........
> row2 cell2
> ==========

Something like that just might work.  It has the added benefit that it
wouldn't make the tables that aren't really tables (the abuses I mentioned
before, in other words) look ugly by indenting a huge portion of the page.

> Also, iSilo handles "COLSPAN" by just showing the cell with no other
> indication that it "spans" and "ROWSPAN" by just showing the cell in the
> first row on which it would be encountered.

I'm not too crazy about this, though.  It may not be a problem with most
tables, but I can conceive of some cases that might be ambiguous if these
weren't dealt with some other way.  Maybe labelling the cells something
like this:

row1 cell1
row1 cell2
row2 cell1
row2 cell2

That example looks a little cluttered, but if the lines go all the way
across the screen, maybe the labels should be at the right end instead of
the left, since most of the time, the data will be either left justified
or centered.  The labels for COLSPAN and ROWSPAN could be something like
[A1-C1] or [A1-A3].  Tables within tables might still be confusing, but
one possibility if the labels are at the left would be to indent them
like this:

Some data
Second table begins
More data
More data
And still more
End of second table
More data

I guess you could do the same thing at the right by indenting from the
right edge.

> The iSilo logic is not OpenSource, but the approach is pretty clear once
> you get use to it and it seems acceptable to me on my Pilot ... it might
> work for Lynx and for use with "reader" software.

Do the screen readers tell you there's a row of dots, dashes, or equals,


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