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Re: FW: Re[2]: Database-driven Web pages

From: Lloyd G. Rasmussen <lras@loc.gov>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 16:25:37 -0400
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.20001027162537.008543d0@sun8.LOC.GOV>
To: basr-l@trace.wisc.edu
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, arron@gwmicro.com, lynx-dev@sig.net
I want to comment on the second issue, long URLs generated by automated
software. 

I find Cnet News  <news.cnet.com> to be quite usable with Window-Eyes and
Lynx.  But they have a feature whereby you can read and comment on messages
submitted by readers of the current article.  Most of its output is just
fine, except for one button which allows you to submit a comment, which has
no title or alt.  In the article at

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-3310477.html?tag=st.ne.1002.lthd.1005-2
00-3310477 
about Congress wanting to crack down on hackers, the offending link in the
"message boards" section of this story reads
<a
href="/news/reviewentry/1,10799,0-1005-602-3310477,00.html?tag=st.ne.ni.ucwy
tnav.wytfm"><img src="/Images/News/Graphics/UserReviews/button_21.gif"
width="78" height="34" align="right" border="0"></a>
in which Window-Eyes reads the unintelligible URL 
news/reviewentry/1,10799,0-1005-602-3310477,00.html?tag=st.ne.ni.ucwytnav.wy
tfm
and Lynx instead parses the name of the image and provides 
[button_21] as the name of the link.  If this image had an alt or a title,
both programs would use it.  I never until now tried to find out where this
link takes you, but using Window-Eyes to read the long URL in the midst of
intelligible text is disruptive enough that I sometimes stop the automatic
reading of the story, skip that line, then resume the read-to-end function.
   

Databases should produce alt or title attributes for all clickable images,
period.  It would be even better if they meant something in the current
context.  

At 12:21 PM 10/27/00 -0400, you wrote:
>If anyone has any thoughts/comments regarding the below messages, please
>send them along.
>
>Don Barrett
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: MARC FINK [mailto:MFINK@email.usps.gov]
>Sent: Friday, October 27, 2000 11:35 AM
>To: Don_Barrett; pat.sheehan; Paul_Schafer; Bruce_Bailey;
>shelia_hamblin; Michele_Zozom; Elaine_Goheen; Ron_Luycx
>Cc: Gerald_Malitz
>Subject: Re[2]: Database-driven Web pages
>
>
>
>     Thanks, Don,
>
>     I'm especially interested in what approaches folks have used to solve
>     the following challenges:
>
>     1. When generating a linearized table dynamically, what have you found
>     to be a useful method for generating cell coordinates--in other words,
>     how do you get the column and row headers associated with each cell
>     member? Judging from Don's comments below, perhaps it would be
>     possible to pass a row header variable to each cell in addition to the
>     column header.
>
>     2. What work-around has anyone found for dealing with session and
>     variable ID's which are passed from one page to the next in Web
>     applications like e-commerce shopping carts? As you know, these can be
>     very long strings which convey little meaning to screen readers.
>
>     These are sticky technical issues, but I see them as unavoidable
>     considering how important database-driven Web content is. This is
>     especially true when building pages that serve a search/query function
>     to access large data/information resources in an efficient and
>     meaningful way.
>
>     Sincerely,
>     Marc Fink
>
>
>______________________________ Reply Separator
>_________________________________
>Subject: RE: Database-driven Web pages
>Author:  Don_Barrett@ed.gov at INTERNET
>Date:    10/27/00 8:41 AM
>
>
>I am forwarding this message to a number of individuals on our team and on
>the Web Development team in the hopes that we can garner some additional
>interest/information on the problems raised in Mark's message below.  If
>anyone has any thoughts on how we might proceed in framing this discussion,
>please share your thoughts.
>
>For example, here at Education, we have had a high degree of success with
>Cold Fusion, in that the resulting interface is HTML, and all query and
>script strings are handled without interfering with the interface.  We did
>have a few applications which involved the use of complex tables which
>needed column header identifiers to be read along with cell contents by the
>screen reader in order to make the table intelligible.  This was handled by
>the contractor by modifying the template so that header information would be
>dynamically generated in the table in each cell.  However, this solution is
>not documented as far as I know, and it should be so others facing the same
>problem can rely on this experience for an easy solution.
>
>Thoughts?
>
>Don
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: MARC FINK [mailto:MFINK@email.usps.gov]
>Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2000 5:31 PM
>To: Don_Barrett; pat.sheehan
>Subject: Database-driven Web pages
>
>
>
>     Dear Pat:
>
>     I recently had the pleasure of meeting and talking with you at the
>     IDEAS 2000 conference. (I work with the 508 team at the United States
>     Postal Service.) I talked with you specifically about
>     database-generated Web pages and other interactive pages such as form
>     elements and links which are query strings. We agreed that these are
>     areas of great concern but have not really been dealt with in-depth in
>     the present guidelines.
>
>     At the time I offered to pursue this issue further with you. Don
>     Barrett, who works periodically here at Postal Headquarters, expressed
>     a similar interest in studying this area in more detail.
>
>     One goal of our mutual collaboration could be to share knowledge of
>     different and successful approaches we know of--hopefully saving
>     everyone time and money in the long run.
>
>     Let me know what you think, and thank you for your time.
>
>     Marc Fink
>     Web Project Manager
>     508 Team
>     USPS/LittonPRC
>     202 268-4716
>
>
Braille is the digital divide.
Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Staff Engineer
National Library Service f/t Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress    (202) 707-0535  <lras@loc.gov>
<http://www.loc.gov/nls>
HOME:  <lras@sprynet.com>       <http://lras.home.sprynet.com>
Received on Friday, 27 October 2000 16:25:09 GMT

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