W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-bpwg@w3.org > July 2005

Re: Best Practices document - not best practices

From: Daniel Barclay <daniel@fgm.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 15:12:06 -0400
Message-ID: <42E7DC86.1010407@fgm.com>
To: public-bpwg@w3.org
CC: "Holley Kevin (Centre)" <Kevin.Holley@O2.com>, Luca Passani <luca.passani@openwave.com>

Holley Kevin (Centre) wrote:

> ....  When looking at the WURFL site I
> note that the real content of the page (not the links or the photos but
> the meat of the page ... i.e. text about WURFL ...)  ... is towards the
> bottom of the HTML.  I rather suspect that HTML tools deliberately put
> "meat" text at the bottom of the HTML.  Why is this?  

If you're talking about CSS style information that is embedded in an HTML
document, it's at the top of the document because of HTML format:  The
STYLE element has to be within the HEAD element, which is comes before the
BODY element.

If you're talking about the typically large amount of mostly redundant
"branding" and navigation information that typically appears at the
top (and frequently left) of pages:  That's not a tool issue, that's
a page design issue (or possibly a page implementation issue).

Designers apparently think users need a link to everywhere from every
single page (yes, okay, I exaggerate a bit), instead of just some
"breadcrumbs" to show where you are within the site (and/or larger
document) and a link or two up toward higher-level pages that provide
downward (and sideways) navigation links.

(I've seen pages where the common stuff filled up the entire browser
window (even in a tall window) and you had to scroll down to find the
page-specific data.  Also, I thought I heard that, for accessibility by
blind people using screen readers, some web pages have an internal link
at the beginning of the page to jump past the redundant header crap and
jump to the meat of the page.)

 > ...Or even allow
> browsers to load ONLY the text in case they are not capable or bandwidth
> constrained for receiving rich content descriptions?  

Content negotiation might be useful for that (if the web page and/or
server was set up to send plain text when richer content wasn't wanted).

 > Or is it to do with the way we have crafted stylesheets onto

One choice in crafting a page is whether to embed the CSS style
information in the HTML document or to put it in a separate document
(which a non-CSS-capable browser wouldn't waste time retrieving).

That also applies to most JavaScript code.

> I also note that more and more websites are hard to view in smaller
> windows as Daniel points out.  One of the points of a Windows-based
> system is that you can view several things at the same time!  
 > Scrolling left and right in this situation is horrible!

Absolutely!  (Well, okay, not being able to see something at all is
worse, but repeated horizontal scrolling is horrible.)

Received on Wednesday, 27 July 2005 19:21:13 UTC

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