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Re: Frames and accessibility: opinions please

From: Peter Verhoeven <pav@oce.nl>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 10:36:57 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

The new web site of the Dutch parlement http://www.tweede-kamer.nl has a 
frame construction, without using the <FRAMESET> tag.
As far as I can see in the source they use scripting to define the frame 
If I check this with Bobby it seems not to be aware, that this is a frame 
constructions. Bobby give no priority 1 checkpoint error on missing titles.

This kind of structures are highly inaccessible for visually impaired users 
using a screen magnifier or screen reader.
It is impossible to:
- Navigate between frames;
- A frame can not be loaded in a new window, which is often a solution to 
access a page.
- Most screen readers can not auto-page the content frame, so that 
information outside the screen can never be accessed.
- Opera 6 crashes on this construction if Use default is turned of in Page 
layout settings.

Last years AT Vendors did a lot of work to make frame constructions on the 
Internet more accessible and any purpose not using the standard <FRAMESET> 
tag make web pages difficult to access.

Regards Peter Verhoeven
Internet : http://www.magnifiers.org (The Screen Magnifiers Homepage)

At 10:09 25-04-2002 +0200, you wrote:
>On Thu, Apr 25, 2002 at 03:01:47PM +0800, Harry Woodrow wrote:
> > To get something that looks like frames is not that hard probably but is it
> > as easy as it is with frames to have a standard header and side navigation
> > and also allow users to include their own content in the main frame.
>   I think we need to give consideration to two separate issues here. It is
>   quite easy, a full example is provided in the specification, to create a
>   layout that looks and behaves like a framed one by using CSS 2.
>   That, however, is a purely visual point. Including 'their own' content in
>   the 'main frame' is another - but there are various methods of achieving
>   this:
>     - CGI (alt. PHP/JSP/ASP/SSI) to do so online and on-the-fly
>     - Pre-processing to do so offline and 'statically'.
>   This would yield a document which behaves in a way consistent with the
>   nature of the web, and which is easily bookmarked, printed, etc., whilst
>   at the same time looking and behaving like frames.
>   Personally I find only one drawback with the CSS 2 approach: IE has so
>   far failed to support fixed positioning. This, however, is a minor point
>   in my book.
>   My answer to the above is: yes, it is quite easy to create a non-framed
>   solution that looks and behaves like frames; and definetly as easy as a
>   framed solution would be. You do, after all, get to throw out all the
>   extra luggage that the traditional frames demand of you.
>    - <noframes> ? Automatic.
>    - Bookmarking ? Not to worry; works as-is.
>    - Printing ? Exactly the same.
>    - Search-, Braille, Voice- and text-browsers ? No problems.
>   This doesn't even touch on the reduced maintenance and bugtracking time
>   spent with a simpler and more logical site structure.
>  - Tina H.
Received on Thursday, 25 April 2002 04:42:21 UTC

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