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Re: QUESTION: use of JavaScript to comply with Sect 508

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2001 23:09:36 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200101082309.f08N9aG23493@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> The text of those menu items appears in the IE5 document model so the links
> are available to screen readers and Home Page Reader.

The text must physically appear on the screen before it can be seen by
a simple screen reader.  I presume that the products you are talking
about are either IE addons or they use an API for providing additional
information that is more general.  From what I've read here, Jaws has
some special knowledge of IE.

> QUESTION: Under what circumstances do such links appear in the (Microsoft
> IE5) object model when they are not visible, and have not been visible?

They will appear in the object model if they appear in the HTML (or
if they are placed into the object model as user defined variables,
although I suspect this case is not interesting).  They will not appear
on a GUI screen if they are positioned above the top of the page or they
have CSS attributes that make the either invisible or completey ignored
for formatting.

The script is incomplete because it doesn't define addICPMenu,
addICPSubMenu, etc.  My guess is that it writes the actual HTML, and
possibly some Javascript, on the client.  If that's true, the constructs
will only appear in the DOM if the script is allowed to run.  (I'm
assuming that it is not server side, although that seems a possibility).
You are going to have to give me precise URLs as I don't frequent MSN.

OK.  I've found a bit of HTML that includes the procedure definitions
(although it is so badly broken that it displays gibberish in IE 5.01,
at least with scripting off).  It uses the CSS parts of the object 
model to change the style to and from "display: hidden".

Note that the JS in the file you quote has nothing to do with the
automation of the menu, although it does make the menu completely
inaccessible without JS.  It's basically a macro for creating the rather
bloated HTML and scripting needed to do the job - that's basically because
what it is doing is mismatched to HTML.  (It's also possible that it
is done to decouple browser specific implementations from the logical
structure of the menu, or to decouple different language versions from
the basic logic.)

In my view, if Microsoft really thought it necessary to emulate Windows
type menus, they should have got styles added to CSS that would allow a
multi-level HTML list to behave like a menu.  It's possible worth noting
that the big 2 don't implement the LINK elements that are intended to
provide navigation tool bar type items.  (It's possible that they failed
to realise how much the market wanted the look of pre-HTML applications
until after CSS was defined.)
Received on Monday, 8 January 2001 18:11:22 GMT

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