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

From: Charles Oppermann <Charles@coppersoftware.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 13:42:11 -0700
Message-ID: <832501AD0216D04D8E30C7C5BF0514B44526@copper1.coppersoftware.com>
To: <basr-l@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <arron@gwmicro.com>, <lynx-dev@sig.net>
The item you're referring to is a image representing a button with words
"Post a comment" in the graphic.

It's some god-awful HTML.  I don't blame the authors for having long
URLs - that's necessary for this kind of stuff with the current
technology, but not having a ALT attribute is the first mistake.  I'd
also like to see a TITLE attribute on the <A> element - not as a
substitute for the ALT though. 

So, in psuedo-code...

<A TITLE="Add your own comments on this story" HREF=....>
<IMG ALT="Post a comment">

-----Original Message-----
From: Lloyd G. Rasmussen [mailto:lras@loc.gov]
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2000 1:26 PM
To: basr-l@trace.wisc.edu
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org; arron@gwmicro.com; lynx-dev@sig.net
Subject: Re: FW: Re[2]: Database-driven Web pages

I want to comment on the second issue, long URLs generated by automated

I find Cnet News  <news.cnet.com> to be quite usable with Window-Eyes
Lynx.  But they have a feature whereby you can read and comment on
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
no title or alt.  In the article at

about Congress wanting to crack down on hackers, the offending link in
"message boards" section of this story reads
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 
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
both programs would use it.  I never until now tried to find out where
link takes you, but using Window-Eyes to read the long URL in the midst
intelligible text is disruptive enough that I sometimes stop the
reading of the story, skip that line, then resume the read-to-end

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

At 12:21 PM 10/27/00 -0400, you wrote:
>If anyone has any thoughts/comments regarding the below messages,
>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
>     the following challenges:
>     1. When generating a linearized table dynamically, what have you
>     to be a useful method for generating cell coordinates--in other
>     how do you get the column and row headers associated with each
>     member? Judging from Don's comments below, perhaps it would be
>     possible to pass a row header variable to each cell in addition to
>     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
>     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
>the Web Development team in the hopes that we can garner some
>interest/information on the problems raised in Mark's message below.
>anyone has any thoughts on how we might proceed in framing this
>please share your thoughts.
>For example, here at Education, we have had a high degree of success
>Cold Fusion, in that the resulting interface is HTML, and all query and
>script strings are handled without interfering with the interface.  We
>have a few applications which involved the use of complex tables which
>needed column header identifiers to be read along with cell contents by
>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
>problem can rely on this experience for an easy solution.
>-----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
>     Postal Service.) I talked with you specifically about
>     database-generated Web pages and other interactive pages such as
>     elements and links which are query strings. We agreed that these
>     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,
>     a similar interest in studying this area in more detail.
>     One goal of our mutual collaboration could be to share knowledge
>     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>
HOME:  <lras@sprynet.com>       <http://lras.home.sprynet.com>
Received on Friday, 27 October 2000 16:42:20 UTC

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