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Clarification per MAP navbars

From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 03:40:50 GMT
Message-Id: <199811161829.TAA14678@sahara.upf.es>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
First to comment on Charles:

The only way to use image maps nowadays is 
with IMG, MAP and AREA. I strongly suggest to 
forget about any other technique until MSIE4.0 
vanishes from the market. (I didn't check MSIE5.0 
and Netscape 4.5, but it could be that we'll have to wait 
for some of them disappearing as well)

The problem of using an image map with IMG and 
something different from AREA as the content of MAP is 
that all HTML3.2 (and current) browsers will show the image 
without any links behind them, and this will disorient 
users of visual media with images turned on.

This is why the HTML4.0 spec has no such example. 

Clearly, the spec. made the (incorrect) assumption that 
browsers who support OBJECT also support MAP 
with non-AREA content. That's why it recommened using:
OBJECT, MAP with non-AREA content.

The fourth combination OBJECT, MAP, AREA will render 
only the content of OBJECT (if it is not MAP-AREA) in HTML3.2 browsers, 
and this may cause some navigation difficulties to users. 
The spec. has arediculus example that degarde to the useless:

<P>This is a navigation bar

in an HTML3.2 browser.

Now the clarification:

My proposal was just to use MAP for 
*navbars that have no image*.
This is because MAP has more semantics 
than DIV class=nav 

Like this text-only navigation bar:
<MAP NAME="my-text-only-map-that-has-no-image-associated-with-it"><P>
<A HREF="some.htm">Somewhere</A> | <A 
  HREF="other.htm">Otherwise</A> | <A 

Then a sophisticated future browser can be configured 
to skip the MAP (in the same way that it can be 
configured to skip the proposed DIV class=nav)

Using MAP is just better semantics than using 
the semanticless DIV with a semanticless class.

Although HTML3.2 and current browsers do not 
support image maps where non-AREA is used 
as content of MAP, they do support text navbars 
inside a MAP.

This usage of MAP was not mentioned in the spec. since 
they didn't want to markup navbars as such. But if we do,
MAP is the best we can do with HTML4.0. The WAI may 
propose a NAVBAR element for future HTML versions if 
we think that marking navbars as such is important.

I hope that I made myself clear.

Nir Dagan, Ph.D.

"There is nothing quite so practical as a good theory." 
-- A. Einstein
Received on Monday, 16 November 1998 13:40:06 UTC

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