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Re: Description of scientific journal information

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 04:39:49 -0400 (EDT)
To: Brooke Dine <dine@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov>
cc: w3cwai <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0106220424220.11641-100000@tux.w3.org>

there are a few things that would be good. If you adjust the code output to
produce valid XHTML or XHTML that meets at least the compatibility
guidelines, or HTML 4.01, that would be good. The fact that many attributes
do not have quoted values (e.g. size=2 instead of size="2", but worse is alt=
instead of alt="" because it causes some real rendering problems) should be
fixed, and there are elements that are not nested properly (for example it is
an error to have a p element inside a b element, but more about b elements in
a minute...)

Better would be to add structured markup instead of just formatting markup.
For example, the headings are simply marked with b elements or font elements.
If you could generate h1 h2 h3 etc elements, then many browsers can
automatically construct the outline that you provide.

You are right that it would be better to have the figures link say "figure
2a" instead of just "2a" since that makes it easier to distinguish figures
from footnotes. It wuld be helpful to have a title attribute for the links
like <a href="#CITATION3" title="note 3">3</a> to make it clear that these
are notes and not figures.

The figure pages themselves are very cool, I thought. Although there is
something funnny with the way they pop out - they end up appearing in the
original window in my browser (iCab) although it does open a new window.

Note that there is a simple HTML method for opening a new window that does
not rely on javascript - use the target attribute like <a href="fig2a.html"
target="fig2a">figure 2a</a>

Of all these the figure link text and the structure are the ones I would work
on first. Then I would write a CSS stylesheet, since that is fairly easy, and
would reduce the load on the system (arcane technical point <grin/>).

hope that is helpful


Charles McCN

On Thu, 21 Jun 2001, Brooke Dine wrote:

  Hi all:

  I'm attempting to figure out how to deal with making a database-driven web site accessible.  It houses scientific e-journals and this is far more challenging than the previous HTML site that I worked on before.

  The site (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov) includes new journal articles as well as an archive of previous issues.  There is an HTML abstract, a full text-version and a PDF version.  However, my thinking is that the images may lack the information a visually-impaired person may need to interpret the data.  Examples of a full text article is available at http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/b.cgi?artid=19905.  While the descriptions, or rather captions, of the images seem to be appropriate, is it safe to assume that a user should email the author of the article for further information.  PubMed Central acts as the holder and not the editor of the documents.

  I also believe that the footnotes and figure references within the article's text will need better descriptive links, i.e. link "fig. 2A" should actually read as "fig. 2A" to accommodate a user who is just listening to the links.

  Sorry, to be so longwinded. Any suggestions or insight will be most appreciated.

  Brooke Dine
  Information Specialist
  National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
  National Library of Medicine/NIH
  Bethesda, MD 20892

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Friday, 22 June 2001 04:39:55 UTC

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