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RE: Link separators

From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 21:55:38 -0800
Message-ID: <E3A3FFB80F5CD1119CED00805FBECA2F013BBE29@red-msg-55.dns.microsoft.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
I don't understand this.  You say that "works fine in browsers that
implement ALT text correctly (e.g. Lynx)" but aren't you as a page authoring
creating markup just so that LYNX reads ALT correctly?

Why the need for link separators to begin with?  Internet Explorer renders
ALT text in the way that makes the most sense to everyone.  If a screen
reader is present, it displays all of the ALT text.  IE4.01 also has a
switch that can manually turn this behavior on.

Why create more markup (=work) for the authors just to separate the links?

-----Original Message-----
From: nir dagan [mailto:dagan@upf.es]
Sent: Monday, February 16, 1998 11:42 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Link separators

In regard to separating graphic-links.
What I do as an author is the following:

Separate icon-links with a 1 pixel transparent gif with the alt text of *
or some other separating character. Height and width being specified.

(see e.g. http://www.econ.upf.es/%7Edagan/about.html )

This should work fine in browsers that implement ALT text correctly.
(e.g. Lynx).

In graphical browsers it looks almost like not separating the links.(e.g.
Netscape 3 or 4). For both cases of images on or off.  
(I have no clue what a screen reader does here)

However it seems that graphical browsers do not implement ALT text 
correctly. They either don't show it, cut it short if it doesn't
fit the box, or show it as a tooltip only when one points the mouse to
the box of the graphic.

In my view:

1. separating text-links is important from the point of view of usability
 of sighted users, therefore separating icon-links is a good idea,
 even without considering accessibility. (sighted users don't get the images
 if they don't want them, and then they should get separated text links.)

2. Guidelines of authoring should be based primerly on what the specs say.
 This is the only way to coordinate actions of authors and browser vendors.
 (this is most relevant for ALT and title attributes).

Nir Dagan.

> Hi,
> I received an inquiry recently that I am unclear of the answer to, and I 
 thought someone on this list might know.  If you have multiple graphics in
  row that also happen to be links, does the link separation rule still
> Any input appreciated.
> David Clark
> CAST, Inc.
Received on Tuesday, 17 February 1998 00:56:00 UTC

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