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Re: search as an access asset

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 08:36:44 -0800
Message-Id: <a05101011b87b2c595a81@[10.0.1.4]>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 9:18 AM -0500 1/28/02, Al Gilman wrote:
>Think about it.  Is it?

It was a tongue in cheek question originally but it may be worth spending
some time on.

>What an easy web search returns is a good practical test for what you don't
>have to document yourself.  If a quick search returns a good tutorial
>expansion, then save your effort for the true arcana.

So, from an authorial standpoint we have several approaches we could
take regarding web searches (and i assume we are not talking about
site search navigation, but extra-site information):

(1) Search could be used as a justification for making no changes
     whatsoever to the site -- "if someone doesn't know what Kia
     Ora means, they can just do a web search."

(2) Searches could be integrated into the site content, including
     specialized searches on external sites. "Don't know what the
     term 'i18n' means? Look up common W3Cisms at the searchable
     W3C glossary. Search [      ] [go!]"

(3) Searches could be used by the page author as a means of
     generating links which could be used to explain a page's
     content, but which are externally linked.  "I have three
     dogs, all of which are Tibetan Mastiffs. [
     <a href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=tibetan+mastiff">
     Google for Tibetan Mastiffs</a> ]"

Of these, I am most comfortable with (2) and (3).

One thing that occurs to me is that I don't believe we have any
guidelines on hyperlinking.  The art of creating hypertext links
to internal and external resources is critical to increased
accessibility and usability.  Too many links and we can cause
confusion for users with certain disabilities; too few links and
we restrict understanding.  (Quick example of a useful link:
linking to a dictionary definition or jargon file entry which is
off-site.)

I think this should at least fall into "good advice" and could
be considered in a techniques document even if no checkpoint to
quantitatively "count" links can be created.

--Kynn
-- 
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                 http://kynn.com
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain            http://idyllmtn.com
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Received on Monday, 28 January 2002 11:50:29 GMT

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