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RE : RE : RE : link in new window debate

From: Marjolein Katsma <hgnje001@sneakemail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 13:56:10 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 12:52 2003-11-20, yoan SIMONIAN wrote:
>I think in point of user view for the title attribute for a link.
>Many assistive technologies choose link text or title texte. 
>In that two ways link or title is the same so have to be short in this point
>of view. Just a question of usability ansd experience with users.
>I'm OK with you about the fact that link text has to be explicit at itself
>and use title is certainly not the best way to do.
>But i think when it's not possible to make link itself accessible (customer
>obligations ...) the title attribute is one of the best alternative to do

All agreed. But I was talking about "help text" _as such_ - not just help text for links - and how help texts can be presented to the user.

The project I'm working on, for many links a help text is unnecessary or a short title attribute (just a few words) is actually sufficient.
Where help texts are mostly needed though is in the multitude of configuration forms where usage of data cannot be sufficiently described by the field's label; sometimes two of three phrases of text are really needed to explain what's used how and for what - at least until a user has become proficient in using the form. The designer of those pages tried to remedy that by creating the help texts and putting them in a title attribute - which doesn't work in browsers that truncate this text. (The designer meant well, and actually wrote good texts - but probably failed to test his solution in different browsers and looked only at IE...)

To provide help texts (to explain each field in a form) JS popups are often used, and they can be quite useful - for those who can actually use JavaScript (this is where all of this is related to the subject of this thread (and help text popups have been mentioned here before).

But since this solution is not universally accessible, I prefer to embed the help text in the page (hidden or shown at the user's request, preferably with a global default configurable by the user).

(Meanwhile, I _have_ been adding title attributes to quite a number of links, too - but these take the form of short phrases like: "configure this user's permission" or "send an email" where the link itself is just a username or an 'envelope' icon.)

Marjolein Katsma
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Received on Thursday, 20 November 2003 07:56:13 UTC

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