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Re: single browser intranets

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 18:07:23 -0400 (EDT)
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
cc: poehlman@clark.net, sweetent@home.com, unagi69@concentric.net, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.9910271803090.23920-100000@tux.w3.org>
Scott, this sounds like precisely the kind of function that led the authors
of HTML to include provision for something like

<LINK rel="Help" href="aboutEverything" hreflang="en">

This works very well on such hi-tech browsers as Lynx, and does not require
any magic popups. It is documented in the HTML 4.0 spcification fairly
clearly. If this had been implemented by the people who agreed that it should
be part of a recommendation, or asked for before people went off into
proprietary solutions, we would have a very simple method of getting help
about pages.

(It is still in the spec...)

Charles McCN

On Wed, 27 Oct 1999, Scott Luebking wrote:

  Hi, Charles
  If you forgive me, your analysis is missing a point.  I've been using a
  very rough efficiency analysis method of keypress counting.  In many
  cases, using a key to trigger an explanation is more efficient than
  using a link.  (It's something that sighted people can overlook.)  How
  many keystrokes would it take a blind person to find and activate the
  link?  It depends on where the link is and where the blind user is
  focused.  However, in all most all instances, by the time the blind user
  gets to the link and activates it, the number of keypresses is greater
  than the one used to pop up a window with the information.  Also, since
  the targetted user is blind, the issues of font size, style, etc,
  aren't important so there's little benefit to using another web page.
  The browser is based on interactivity.  The trick is to use the
  interactivity to benefit the user without being intrusive.  It's kind of
  what I tell the students I work with that a good interface is like a
  good butler.  The butler helps you perform the tasks you want and can
  often anticipate your needs while at the same time being as minimally
  intrusive with few demands.
  > If the pop-up were an ordinary link to an explanation of how this site works,
  > it would be interoperable back to the CERN line-mode browser (which actually
  > came after the graphical one that Tim started with, but...)
  > Which is why some sites do explain how they work. Using something
  > interoperable like a normal hypertext link.
  > People like Jonathan Chetwynd have been reminding us that interactivity is
  > very important to making content accessible to some people.
  > My point is to recognise that interactivity is good for some people, and can
  > be bad for others - the challenge is to reconcile the two. It's not a very
  > amazing point, and other people have made it better.
  > Charles McCN

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Wednesday, 27 October 1999 18:08:30 UTC

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