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Handling Javascript [was Re: New(ish) Test Version Of Betsie

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 11:36:51 -0400
Message-Id: <3.0.32.19990602113649.00749fd0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: "Bruce Bailey" <bbailey@clark.net>, "Wayne Myers-Education" <wayne.myers@bbc.co.uk>, "WAI ER IG List" <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
Thanks Bruce.

Well I took a look at the page.  

The problem is that the  button that submits the form isn't an HTML submit
button.  Instead, it triggers javascript via "onClick"

 onClick="checkPassword(this.form)

The code for checkPassword(data) has a bunch of checks ending in
data.submit.  In other words, it does the checks and submits the form if
it's OK.

This is a reasonable thing to do, to check data on in the browser before
sending it to the cgi script.  I've seen this before and my guess is that
it's a common idiom.

OK What to do?

Presently, Betsie just omits Javascript.  That doesn't handle this situation.

The full solution would be to build a javascript interpreter into betsie
that would run the checks via cgi and submit the form.

Here's one quick and dirty "solution"

   Rule:
    Whenever there is a button with onClick=function

    search the javascript fot that function and, recursively, any functions
    that are called

    if you find .submit  then just replace the button with a submit button.

The obvious problem is that this will send errors back to the cgi and who
knows what the cgi will do.  Probably send back some inscrutable error
message.  

So the user would just keep trying to figure out what he or she filled out
wrong.

Well, arguably better than nothing.  

Another solution,
Provide an option to retain the javascript.  This will not help people with
lynx, but perhaps it could still help people using screenreaders on
graphical browsers that do use javascript.  So make "retain javascript" an
option.

Or, at least, hide javascript via <!-- and --> from browsers that don't
handle javscript.

The alternative, like I say, is to build a javascript interpreter into the
repair tool.

Hmmmm.  If there's an open source Javascript tool around this may not be
that bad...

Another Hmmmmm.  Another javascript idiom is to replace images when a mouse
passes over them.  This is used, e.g., to cause text to highlight.  Or to
cause a picture of a man's forehead, visible just above a horizon line, to
pop up, revealing a smiling, disembodied face, whenever the mouse passes
over the forehead, or passes over a link to yahoo further down on the page
(cf. http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday  ). The latter page describes the
effect via a D link.  A repair tool would include a link equivalent to
"onMouseOver" and tell the user what happened, assuming proper ALT text
with the replacement image.

Len

At 10:09 AM 6/2/99 -0400, Bruce Bailey wrote:
>Actually the problem was latter on.  I should have explained this better.
>
>I explored both frames, and found the one with content.  This was no big
>deal.  But then try going further.  Follow the link for "_create_ new
>student account".
>
>Filling-in the few lines is no problem (Lynx or Betsie) but submitting the
>form is another story.
>
>Lynx cannot activate the "Create" button (even though [BUTTON] is
>displayed).  Betsie shows the button, but when it is selected just
>generates a blank page.
>
>Please try this, you will not get to a validation screen until after this
>step (use whatever text you want for the fields).
>
>I think the pages use poorly designed Java script.  As you saw, nominally
>IE 4+ is required.  For the source of one page was a subroutine named "IE3
>stinks" -- this can't be too professional work!
>
>Thank you for your efforts.
>
>Bruce Bailey
>
>----------
>> From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
>> To: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>; Wayne Myers-Education
><wayne.myers@bbc.co.uk>; WAI ER IG List <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
>> Subject: Re: New(ish) Test Version Of Betsie
>> Date: Wednesday, June 02, 1999 9:12 AM
>> 
>> Thanks bruce for observing that 
>> 
>> >Betsie also could not handle a page that is currently giving Lynx fits
>at
>> >URL: http://www.prometheus.gwu.edu
>> 
>> I took a look with lynx.
>> 
>> This page has two frames, one of which is actually blank, to wit (or
>witless)
>>    <HTML>
>>    <HEAD>
>>         <TITLE>Untitled</TITLE>
>>    </HEAD>
>>    <BODY BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF">
>>    </BODY>
>> </HTML>        
>> 
>> So we could add a repair rule: omit blank frames 
>> 
>> And as special case, if there's just one frame, release it from it's
>shell.
>> 
>> Actually, I think WAG in effect did this by concatenating frames into a
>> single page.... I'll have to take a look... gotta run now...
>> 
>> There's also some images with no alt text.
>> 
>> Otherwise reads OK.
>> 
>> Len
>> 
>> 
>> -------
>> 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
>> kasday@acm.org        
>> (215} 204-2247 (voice)
>> (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
>
>
-------
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
kasday@acm.org        
(215} 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Wednesday, 2 June 1999 11:34:54 GMT

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