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Re: [#899] Separate links with printable characters

From: <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2004 15:49:03 -0400
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF2FDAC6BB.DF2A199A-ON85256F08.006D1DFE-85256F08.006CFCF2@notesdev.ibm.com>
<Gez wrote>
I would argue that this guideline shouldn't be deprecated, as there are
still problems in distinguishing between adjacent links in some assistive
technologies such as Home Page Reader. In a graphical browser, it can be
difficult to tell where one link ends and another starts if it happens to
appear near a line wrap.

I am curious what the issues are with Home Page Reader distinguishing 
between adjacent links?  JAWS version 4.51 and WindowEyes 4.5 sp3 both say 
the word "link" before the text of a link.  Home Page Reader does not say 
the work link but it uses a different voice (as both JAWS and WindowEyes 
can do).  Is this the issue?  If so, Home Page Reader can be modified to 
say "link" before each link if that is desired.  Also, if the user 
switches into link reading mode, each link is navigated to and read 

In WCAG 1.0, the technique of separating links with a printable character 
is combined with grouping links.  If the links are grouped properly are 
there still issues with needing printable characters between them?  Also, 
separating links with an angle bracket when NOT using a MAP only helps if 
punctuation reading is turned on.  I think the technique is certainly 
worthwhile from a low vision standpoint by helping to make the separate 
links more visible (and thus more usable as well but that isn't WCAG's 
responsibility <smile>).

Thus, my two cents is that we should not deprecate this technique. 


Becky Gibson
Web Accessibility Architect
IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
5 Technology Park Drive
Westford, MA 01886
Voice: 978 399-6101; t/l 333-6101
Email: gibsonb@us.ibm.com
Received on Tuesday, 7 September 2004 19:52:31 UTC

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