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Ordered lists and screen reader handling - Re: Breadcrumbs

From: Isofarro <lists@isofarro.uklinux.net>
Date: Tue, 03 Aug 2004 22:15:33 +0100
Message-ID: <41100075.3000605@isofarro.uklinux.net>
To: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> From: "Jesper Tverskov"

[markup for breadcrumb trails]

>>Patrick wrote:
>>I'd say that it should be an ORDERED list...
>>My comment:
>>An ordered list is just a list using numbers or letters. They are not
>>necessarily in order of importance or hierarchy.
>>From http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/lists.html#h-10.1
> "An ordered list, created using the OL element, should contain
> information *where order should be emphasized*, as in a recipe:"

I agree using ordered lists is a step closer to the "right" 
structure for breadcrumbs. Which brings me neatly on to 
somethings that's bugging me.

Do screen readers / speech browsers actually take advantage of 
an ordered list markup - for instance read out the order number 
/ position number of an item in a list?

I've scanned through the options and preferences of IBM Homepage 
reader and haven't found what I'm looking for.

I had an instance of a nested list menu - the problem (as I 
heard it via HPR) was the difficulty of understanding the 
relationships between items (if any). Using an ordered list 
didn't seem to make a difference to an unordered list. I was hoping

  <li>First Item</li>
  <li>Second Item
    <li>Child one of second item</li>
    <li>Second child of this item</li>

could be read out something like:

"1. First Item, 2. Second Item, 2.1 Child of second item 2.2 
Second child of this item."

I finally resorted to using an unordered list and used a 
one-pixel transparent gif with the alt text set to "1", "2", 
"2.1" "2.2" respectively. The idea seems to work nicely, but I'd 
much prefer a neater solution without the 1 pixel signpost.

The nearest I found in IBM HPR was to preface a list element 
with a static word - I used "item" as the prefix word.

Received on Tuesday, 3 August 2004 17:13:59 UTC

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