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RE: Example of multiple skip links

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 17:41:49 -0500
To: "'Joe Clark'" <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Cc: "'WAI-GL'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c45b05$a736b140$6601a8c0@JTCOM2400>

Joe: <quote> 
I just have trouble understanding why your definition of "work" involves
hitting Enter and so on.

How do YOU follow a link using only the keyboard? (Maybe you use Lynx, and
the answer is right arrow.) I use the enter key when the link has focus. The
crucial point though is the subsequent tab, because visual focus works with
IE for an in-page link - it is input focus that sometimes does not work.
That's where most folks quit testing, after the "enter". One more tab is
required to see that input focus is in the correct place. I tried to explain
these issues in [1]. 

Speaking of long, mine has none of the flair that I find in "Building
Accessible Web Sites," but you spend some time building the case for making
the skip link visible (p155): "You're not going to like this but ... your
'Skip navigation' link must be visible." But like the testers I mentioned
above, you didn't test enough skip links with the keyboard to find that
often they don't work with the keyboard. By the way, neither did I for
"Constructing Accessible Web Sites."

Here are three examples: The skip link in http://acb.org (one of the
originals); the skip link at http://w3.org/wai and the skip links in
http://mezzoblue.com/ (don't remember which). More generally, with IE, I
believe that if the target of the in-page link is an anchor (<a>) and NOT a
link (no href for the <a>) OR is not in a table cell THEN the in-page link
will NOT work from the keyboard. Because of the prevalence of table layout,
those are not common conditions on the web, but they are common conditions
in what WAI advises and in fact, what you advise in "Building Accessible Web

Accessibility, What Not to do: http://jimthatcher.com/whatnot.htm.
Web Accessibility Tutorial: http://jimthatcher.com/webcourse1.htm.

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Joe Clark
Sent: Friday, June 25, 2004 4:51 PM
To: Jim Thatcher
Cc: 'WAI-GL'
Subject: RE: Example of multiple skip links

> Well I admit I didn't know that. There!


> NO, it has absolutely nothing to do with access keys. Is it a question of
> user agent handling? Sure. But I have been arguing for a couple of years
> (and I explained to you in Austin a year and a half ago)[,]

after which point I repeatedly asked for examples,

> that there are
> critical problems with in-page links used from the keyboard in the browser
> that most people use. They are critical problems in the sense that in-page
> links often just do not work from the keyboard.

I just have trouble understanding why your definition of "work" involves 
hitting Enter and so on.

> Are you going to dismiss the
> problem because these links should work? Or maybe that they work in the
> browser that you use? 

Possibly and no.


    Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
    Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
    Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Friday, 25 June 2004 18:42:23 UTC

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