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RE: [#832] Clear link text - priority and acceptability of supplemental text

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 14:37:42 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <auto-000003079688@spamarrest.com>

In this discussion there are a number of questions or issues that are being
mixed and intermixed.  I think it is best if we split them apart.

1) what priority is it to make a link destination (or function) clear if you
read the link without any of the surrounding text.  (i.e. out of context)

2) what priority is it to make a link destination (or function) clear in
context -- so that a person does not need to go to the destination to
understand where the link goes. 

#2 is a basic usability question.  Everyone has trouble with this.  It is
confusing for all -- and is an additional burden for those with cognitive
disabilities or who are other wise confused.  Also more work for anyone who
takes more time to navigate.

#1 is not a problem for most users since they read the link in context. If
they did read the link alone - and it didn't make sense, they can read the
text around it to understand it. However, this does reduce the ability to
use the link list feature in Opera and other browsers (and AT) that support
  Similarly it is a problem for those who use tools to just read the links
on a page without surrounding text.  This is a useful technique for
understanding what links are on a page -- (It has limited value in
understanding a page whose content is not primarily contained in links to
other content.)   Some tools provide summaries that include Headers and
links.  This may or may not help depending on the headers and the nature and
text of the links.   Other tools can or could provide ability to read text
around a link on request. 

My question was whether issue #1 (links that are clear in context but not if
stripped out of context) was really a priority level 1.   

In general we have been defining Level 1 SC as things that had to be done or
a user agent (including AT) could not make the content accessible after the
fact.    (Here we are talking about reasonable user agents - not agents that
have the capability of a human and can see, hear, reword etc. though someday
it would be nice.).

Thoughts on this? (pro and con)


 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Received on Wednesday, 23 June 2004 15:38:04 UTC

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