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RE: Nielsen's Latest Alertbox & a personal protest

From: Liam McGee <liam@communis.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 23:55:28 -0000
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <JOEMJKKDOAKAHJFODCDKCEHOCHAA.liam@communis.co.uk>

As a point of information (which may muddy the waters even further), Homer
Page Reader and, I think, JAWS are happy to associate labels with fields
even if they occur later in the markup.

For example

<input type="text" style="width: 10em" title="text box"><label>Name</label>

would be read as Name - text box.

And now for my Welsh 2p worth.

**WCAG1.0 12.4. Associate labels explicitly with their controls.**

If and only if a label is actually present, it should be explicitly
associated with the field using the <label> element. If no label is present,
as in Neilsen's proposed search form, you don't need a <label> element. BUT
to comply with guideline 12 'provide context and orientation information',
you still need to make it accessible.

The field should be titled with title="Search field", and the submit button
should read <input type="submit" name="Search" title="Submit">.

In the end, don't get too close to the checkpoint, look at the guideline.
That's what you need to achieve. If Bobby doesn't like it, that's a problem
with Bobby. Email Watchfire :-)

Usability and accessibility can conflict, but not very often. This isn't one
of those times.

Regards all

Liam McGee

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Woolley [mailto:david@djwhome.demon.co.uk]
> Sent: 11 November 2003 21:53
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Nielsen's Latest Alertbox & a personal protest
> >   Mr. Nielsen finds this sufficient for the user - lacking the
> >   information a clear and unambigious label would provide - to guess.
> I suspect the point he is making is that a search control is such a
> standard feature of web sites that providing verbose descriptions
> gets in the way of using it, as people can't then see the controls
> for the descriptions.
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2003 18:55:35 UTC

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