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Re: Breadcrumbs

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 17:12:27 -0500
To: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, mimasa@w3.org, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Message-ID: <OFF191569E.FE01735C-ON86256EE5.00777993-86256EE5.0079FE8E@us.ibm.com>
Phill Jenkins wrote:
> Let face it, what we really need is a "breadcrumb" XHTML tag to get the 
> proper semantics,  Breadcrumbs are not simple or order lists, they are 
> not headings, or any existing HTML semantic tag.  They are a hierarchal 
> list of link representing a path through a Web site

Matt May responded:
>The <nl> element in XHTML 2 should do just that[1], though of course 
>that's years away.
>[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/mod-list.html#edef_list_nl

Hmm, what I read as the definition of <nl> is "navigation list".  No where 
did it say anything about hierarchy, which in my mind is different that 
navigation.  Maybe it is semantics, but could you forward the comment back 
to the XHTML 2 group that using only the term navigation does not in my 
mind convey "bread crumb path" hierarchy.  In fact, what the list is used 
for, e.g. navigation, is not what is as important (to me) as the fact that 
the list is ordered, unordered, nested, a definition list, or ultimately 
what is needed is a hierarchal list - may I suggest the <hl> tag or <bctl> 
[start of bread crumb trail list] tag.
Navigation lists are intended to be used to define collections of 
selectable items for presentation in a "navigation" menu. A navigation 
list is required to start with a label element that defines the label for 
the list.
end quote

However, don't delete the <nl> tags, they will be very useful in 
identifying the common side bar navigations lists commonly used on web 
sites today, but difficult to distinguish from other lists used on a site.

>Generally speaking, though, there isn't much benefit in my mind to 
>marking things up as a list over the way most people do it now. I don't 
>imagine there's any process optimization for ATs by doing it that way, 

Correct.  In fact, marking up the bread crumb as a list would in my mind 
cause more confusion because there is no indication of hierarchy.  The 
common use of the "greater than" character does indicate hierarchy both 
visually and aurally:

Home > Products > Specific Product > Current Page

Is spoken as: "Home, greater than, Products, greater than, Specific 
Product, greater than, Current Page." with a voice change between the 
links and the non-link "greater than character" makes the message even 
more clear that this is a hierarchal list of links.

Phill Jenkins
Received on Tuesday, 3 August 2004 18:13:01 UTC

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