W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > March 2000

Re: Tablin now online

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 11:41:07 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: dd@w3.org, gv@tracecenter.org
Cc: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
aloha, daniel!

congratulations on getting Tablin online!

i have a few comments about the form located at:

1. there is nothing in the introductory verbiage that indicates that there 
is anything more to the FORM than the URL input field and the submit 
mechanism...  this potentially poses problems for anyone not visually 
processing the form, as there is a flight-or-fight level instinct amongst 
serial navigators to activate the SUBMIT mechanism when it is 
encountered...  while i understand _why_ you want to have the submit 
mechanism immediately following the URL input field (so as to make Tablin 
as easy to use as possible, and not force users to review the entire form, 
it does mean that there may be a significant portion of Tablin's target 
audience who won't know about the tailorization options available to them, 
unless they are explicitly informed that they exist...  therefore, i would 
suggest adding something along the lines of

In order to facilitate quick linearization, a SUBMIT button appears 
immediately after the URL input field.  Selecting SUBMIT after you enter an 
URL causes Tablin to run in default mode. You can change Tablin's settings 
by bypassing the SUBMIT button. There are 7 additional groupings of controls.

2. i would make the phrase "default mode" a hyperlink that links to a 
listing of Tablin's default settings, as there are many -- if not more -- 
individuals who would rather follow a help link _before_ attempting to 
navigate a FORM, than to obtain information _by_ navigating a FORM

3. because of the placement of the SUBMIT mechanism, one must backtrack 
(manually, if you are using a screen reader) to the SUBMIT button in order 
to activate it (yes, i know that most GUI browsers support SUBMIT-on-ENTER, 
but (a) the UAAG features a checkpoint that allows the user to suppress 
this functionality/bug, and (b) most text-based browsers (which also happen 
to be TABLE incapable browsers) do not support SUBMIT-on-ENTER _unless_ one 
has the cursor placed on the SUBMIT mechanism (or if one is using Lynx with 
FORM control numbering support, in which case one could enter the number 
associated with the SUBMIT mechanism to submit the form's content)

my fear is that the lack of information about the tailorability of the 
Tablin FORM and the inconvenience of having to backtrack back to the SUBMIT 
button (during which there is a very real chance that an inexperienced user 
could inadvertently change a setting) will have the unfortunate effect of 
turning off a large segment of the target population for whom Tablin was 

4. since the DTD declared for the document is HTML 4.0, why not utilize the 
semantic labelling features of that ML, such as LABEL, FIELDSET, and LEGEND?

5. since i opened my big mouth, first to pat you on the back and then to 
beat you over the head, i am preparing a proposed mockup which incorporates 
the comments and suggestions i enumerated here, as well as a few others 
that i have yet to articulate...

He that lives on Hope, dies farting
      -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
    WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
Received on Wednesday, 15 March 2000 11:31:05 UTC

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