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Re: Server side image maps

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 15:43:04 -0800
Message-Id: <a05010403b64c954c6939@[]>
To: jim@jimthatcher.com, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 5:14 PM -0600 11/30/00, Jim Thatcher wrote:
>Can anyone explain why a web site developer would choose a server side image
>map like the one at http://www.metrokc.gov/ over a client side image map? I
>am assuming the developer knows accessibility and the requirement for
>equivalent text links. What are the advantages of server side image maps? I
>had always thought that it had something to do with unusual regions. But the
>client side map at http://support.dell.com (WITHOUT alt text on the areas)
>illustrates the fact that you can get as exact as you want with the regions.

You probably should ask the developer of the site. :)

The main arguments _for_ using server side maps are:

1. Funky shapes and other custom coding (you can actually get pretty
    detailed if you want to for reason, but in most cases you won't
    want to)

2. Backwards compatibility -- at one time, only "new" browsers
    supported server side maps, but that time was about 4 years ago

The main arguments _against_ using server side maps and _for_
using client side server maps:

1. No way of encoding accessibility information via alt in

2. Faster processing because it doesn't have to make a server
    roundtrip with client-side

3. Client-side can be used in offline browsing situations just
    fine, because doesn't need access to server

4. A lot easier to make and maintain client-side maps, from the
    webmaster's perspective

5. Client-side works great in all current browsers including Lynx

6. Server-side maps require additional, redundant textual links
    which are not required for client-side maps (but they are still
    a good idea)

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Received on Thursday, 30 November 2000 18:47:50 UTC

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