W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > February 1999

Using onMouseOver [was Re: FW: making applets accessible

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:54:35 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Silas S. Brown" <ssb22@cam.ac.uk>
Cc: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
That's an interesting use for populating the status line using onMouseOver.
 Maybe there are other uses also for this trick.

For example, you could process a table so that the row and column headings
appear on the status line when the mouse is on a cell.  Folks with low
vision could position the mouse there already: folks using screenreaders
could use the send-mouse-to-screenreader-cursor command.  

This would also be handy for sighted folks when the column or row headings
are scrolled off the screen.

(see implementation hints in P.S.)



This use of mouseover requires wrapping each cell in an A link.

If anyone tries this there's a glitch you've got to watch which I ran into
on my home page http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday

If the cell isn't a link already, Netscape 4.06 requires the following

<A href=""  onclick="return false" ...

You need the href for Netscape to respond to the onMouseOver (something I
consider a bug) and you need the onclick="return false" to prevent netscape
from trying to go to that href when the user clicks there.  Kluge, Kluge,

At 03:26 PM 2/17/99 +0000, Silas S. Brown wrote:
>> Actually it did work.
>On www.att.com yes, but not on the Temple site I'm afraid.  www.att.com 
>has the URLs in separate parameters, whereas Temple embeds them in the 
>same parameters as the text.
>> BTW, the <A...>'s contain onMouseOver="window.status='etc...  What are they
>> for?
>Normally when a sighted user moves the mouse over a link, the status 
>window displays the URL that the link points to.  If that link has been 
>redirected through the gateway, the URL will be awfully long (including 
>all the options etc) and would not fit in the status window.  The 
>onMouseOver stuff makes it look like it's not redirected, except I put 
>the word "Access" in just to make sure there's no confusion.
>It turns out that most of the people using the gateway around here are 
>fully sighted Japanese (and a few Chinese) who want to look at those 
>pages without needing the fonts (the gateway can substitute a load of 
>gif files and handle the encoding detection automatically).  And then 
>there are one or two sighties who use it just because they like their 
>paragraphs indented rather than a line left between them.
>Also, I must admit, I've used the status window before.  I do have 
>partial sight and I don't always want to work quite like totally blind 
>people do; this is the advantage of having something that is 
>-- Silas S Brown, St John's College Cambridge UK
>"He that is slow to anger is better than a mighty man, and he that is
>controlling his spirit than the one capturing a city" - Proverbs 16:32
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Universal Design Engineer, Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering
Temple University

Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
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(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Wednesday, 17 February 1999 14:53:35 UTC

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