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Re: Nielsen's Latest Alertbox & a personal protest

From: <tina@greytower.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 11:57:33 +0100 (CET)
Message-Id: <200311111057.hABAvX6v011240@asterix.andreasen.se>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On 11 Nov, carl.myhill@ps.ge.com wrote:

> "8. Don't use a heading to label the search area; instead use a "Search"
> button to the right of the box

  He is quite right. Labelling any form control is the job of the LABEL
  element (in HTML/XHTML), NOT a H* element.

> This is a small point, but there's no reason to label the search box if
> there's a "Search" button right next to it."

  Of course there is - there is no logic that states the INPUT with type
  "submit" is related to that other INPUT with type "text" unless it is
  explicitly labeled - using LABEL.

> Bobby rates this as a priority 2 failure,  "Make sure that labels of all
> form controls are properly placed."
> http://bobby.cast.org/bobby/html/en/gls/g55.html

  I hope that Bobby rates it priority 2 failure, but of checkpoint 12.4
  instead. Checkpoint 10.2, after all, does not DEMAND that all form
  controls have implicit labels, just that those that have also position
  them properly.

  His advice is, however, strictly against 12.4. IMnsHO.

> Even I don't buy that priority 3 failure, and nor does Mark from
> www.diveintoaccessibility.org , who instead puts an empty string in as a
> label to fool with Bobby's verification robot into giving his site a AAA

  Perhaps you, and he, should. See below.

> rating. I've got my own little protest about this here...
> http://www.impingtonswimmingclub.org.uk/technical/ (under 'why not AAA?')

  This topic has been hotly debated. The discussion raged even here, but
  the *conclusion* was - if memory serves - quite different from Mr.

  I would like to draw your attention to the thread named "place-holding
  characters in form elements" that occurred between the 23rd and 24th
  of May this year. However, note also the short thread from September
  with the subject "place-holding characters in edit/text boxes".

> Can anyone here educate me on whether Nielsen's guidelines are actually
> better informed than Bobby? It does rather seem that Jakob has somewhat
> ignored accessibility in his latest alertbox but perhaps I'm wrong.

  Frankly, neither Bobby nor Nielsen have guidelines we need to worry
  about for the WWW. Stick with WCAG and/or Section 508. They might not
  be perfect, but they have the advantage of being consistent across

 -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies
   tina@greytower.net                http://www.greytower.net/
   [+46] 0708 557 905
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2003 05:57:43 UTC

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