[html5] making standards-compliant charts

Matt Bonner mateubonet at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 29 16:05:48 PST 2008

Thanks to Benjamin and Ian for the thoughts, and apologies for the slow

I understand of course what you mean by saying that graphs and charts
are graphical, because they try to present data in a more visual format.
But, most 2-axis charts have textual and numeric data, including axis
labels, axis values, legends and other elements.  So, calling them graphical
to me seems overly simplified.

Including the table on the same page could be a possibility sometimes,
but rather cumbersome for many page layouts.

To that end, SVG seems like a better choice, except for the lack of IE 
support...  For less textual and/or more stylized graphs, PNG with good
alt summary seems okay.

thanks again,

----- Original Message ----
> From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com>
> To: Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch>
> Cc: Matt Bonner <mateubonet at yahoo.com>; Help at lists.whatwg.org
> Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2008 4:13:36 AM
> Subject: Re: [html5] making standards-compliant charts
> On 27/12/08 07:06, Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Fri, 26 Dec 2008, Matt Bonner wrote:
> >> I am especially interested to hear how HTML experts view efforts to
> >> create bar or line charts in HTML/CSS.
> > 
> > Graphs are, well, graphical. HTML would generally be inappropriate. :-)
> > I'd recommend using SVG or PNG for static graphs, with SVG or  for
> > dynamic graphs, and providing tables for people who can't view the graphs.
> Examples of transforms from tables:
> Flash from tables:
> http://yuiblog.com/blog/2008/01/17/tables-and-charts/
> Canvas from tables:
> http://www.filamentgroup.com/lab/creating_accessible_charts_using_canvas_and_jquery/
> http://www.liquidx.net/canvasgraphjs/
> SVG or Canvas from tables:
> http://www.liquidx.net/plotkit/
> It's arguably a good idea (from an accessibility and general usability 
> perspective) to explicitly and visibly state any trends shown by the graphs too, 
> rather than leaving people to try to guess at them. Guessing at trends is harder 
> with an audio or braille table than a graph since you don't get a gestalt view 
> of the whole sequence; instead you have to remember sequences in your head. 
> Also, some people may simply find the supplied visualization harder to process 
> (e.g. due to colorblindness or a learning disability).
> --
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis


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