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Re: Development WAI activities

From: nir dagan <dagan@upf.es>
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 98 23:18:10 MET
Message-Id: <199803012218.XAA12549@sahara.upf.es>
To: Jaap.van.Lelieveld@inter.NL.net
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
As a sighted user and with other browsers, 
I have some comments/additions.

>   1. More and more sites use JAVA, JAVA script and/or generated pages.
>    With LYNX - or any other text-based or specific browser - no 
>    scripting support at all is available.

JavaScript doesn't work with the latest Internet Explorer 4 and Netscape 4
if the user turnes it off. Same goes for Java.

They cannot replace HTML. The only real solution here is in the 
hands of the authors, that should use these features as enhacing 
a well functioning HTML document.

Opera 3.1 supports JavaScript and can be configured to  a text based mode 
(almost). With images 
turned off, and all headings defined in the same 
font (face and size if you wish).

> 3. I tried the - most recent - demo of PW Webspeak. I do not know
>    if this demo is a good version to try, but - to my disappointment - it
>    did not even support FRAMEs. I did not dare to try SSL !

Frames are visual by 
nature, and any linear support will not replace the necessity for 
a no-frames version. Again, its up to the authors to provide 
the real solution.

Opera 3.1 supports frames, and allows to turn them off.
It is rather disapointing that it just shows the NOFRAMES section
when frames are off. It does not indicate that this is a FRAMESET document
not it provides links to the different frames. With a well written
site its not a problem, but I get many blank (or worse) pages from 
bad authors (who too often order me to upgrade my frame capable Opera 3.1 
to a flawed frame capable browser like Nestcape 2.0...). 

With frames on: When you move from the initial position of the FRAMESET
to another, Opera shows in the location bar the URL of the last document 
that was reached, and not of the FRAMESET. This improves orientation 
by a lot. 

Turning frames off again: Opera also allows to "disable generation of new 
windows from documents". It helps around lazy authors of frames, whose
"no frames" section is the same pages of the framed vesrsion.
Since the links in the framed version have targets they generate
new windows when viewed independetly. With frames off, and disabling 
generation of windows these sites are navigationable using 
the "Previous" (or "back") key.

> 5. It is very useful to discuss ALT texts: how to add them and
>    where to put them (and how to mentain them?).

I couldn't agree more.

>    - IE: shows it [ALT text] as a "tool tip" that is not picked up
>      by my (?) screen reader.

These tooltips (both Explorer and Netscape) are a big mess also 
for sighted users, who have to play around with the mouse for five minutes
to convince the browser to do the favor and render them.

Opera 3.1 with images turned off shows the ALT text as regular text marked 
correctly, e.g. <H1><IMG src=foo.gif" alt="Welcome to Foo"></H1>
is rendered almost as <H1>Welcome to Foo</H1>, but it indicates the fact
that it is an alt text of an image by drawing a border around the text.
(if height and width specified it does the same. The box is around the text
and the height and width are disregarded.)
It is in my view a good implementation of alt for sighted users,
(who may  download the image, if they wish) 
but I don't know whether a screen reader will read it (probably not).
Its more informative than Lynx, but does not break the flow of reading 
like Netscape and Explorer do, by showing the ALT text of headings like regular
text in strange boxes, if at all.

Opera has also an intermediate images off/on mode. It shows only cached images,
and draws boxes for images with height and width specified. (this is Netscape's 
images off mode) which is helpful if the author screwed big in page layout
considerations... (I.e. assumed that boxes of images are always drawn)
or with image maps.

I don't work for Opera. I just got an evaluation copy a few days ago,
and I deinstalled Netscape 3.0. an hour later.
(I still have Netscape 4.0 and MSIE4.0
but mainly for authoring, e.g., playing around with stylesheets.)

I would be interested to hear a screen reader user's 
opinion on Opera.

Opera's URLs:
In Norway:

Best regards,
Nir Dagan.
email: dagan@upf.es
URL: http://www.econ.upf.es/%7Edagan/
Received on Sunday, 1 March 1998 17:24:57 UTC

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