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Re: [3.1][2.4] Informative page titles: suggested solution

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 12:51:51 -0500 (CDT)
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0407071244440.4726-100000@socrates.scdns.net>

> Current phrase:
> Page titles are informative
> Suggested phrase:
> All pages have informative titles

Not all Web structures are "pages." Further, <title></title> can be empty 
and still validate; it is possible to publish standards-compliant untitled 

> I think "all pages have informative titles" should be at least at level 2,
> perhaps even at level 1, because of the significance of the page title in
> orienting yourself in content. If you have crappy link text but informative
> page titles, at least you'll know that you ended up in the wrong place.

People keep bringing that up. I don't see how it's an accessibility issue. 
The page I link to is only my responsibility when I control both pages. 
It's not my problem if you're confused by someone else's page. What 
someone else's page does isn't my problem in the slightest. I can only 
control what I can control; Q.E.D.

Further, the way to determine if you've reached the right page or not is 
to read and understand it in its entirety. Why is there an effort to 
load everything onto the title element?

The HTML spec states:


Authors should use the [90]TITLE element to identify the contents of

"Identify the contents" is a smaller and more appropriate burden than 
"make sure every imaginable Web-surfer realizes whether or not they've 
made a mistake."

Also, um, how often, *really*, have you hit a link on a page and "ended up
in the wrong place"? Just how often does that happen on the real Web? You
may need to ask someone who experiences the real Web for an answer.
Exclude old domains that get scooped up by spammers in considering this
question. Aren't 404s on target pages more of a problem? And now that I've
mentioned those, you're going to try to ban them, too, right?

What real problem is this trying to solve? None, I'd say.


    Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
    Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
    Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Wednesday, 7 July 2004 13:52:13 UTC

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