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Re: Breadcrumbs

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 14:51:59 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF5EECA962.4991A47D-ON86256EE6.00693F34-86256EE6.006D21E7@us.ibm.com>
>Then bigger issue here is giving a useful "label" to any
>collection of navigation links on a web page. 

Yes I agree with the "label" notion, I even suggested the title attribute 
myself

>   One design option would be to add the title attribute to
>   the first link, 

> Users generally want to navigate over them to get
> to main content and directly to them to benefit from their
> convenience. 
> ...
> Example markup:
> <map name="navbar" title="Bread Crumbs">


Yes, I even like your suggestion of using the MAP element to group the 
bread crumb links

><ol>
><li><a href="home.html">Home</a></li>
><li><a href="level1.html">Level 1</a></li>
><li><a href="level2.html">Level 2</a></li>
></ol>
></map>

But using an ordered list does not convey to me a bread crumb list.  The 
screen reader would treat this ordered list like any other ordered list, 
and would say:
1. Home
2. Level 1
3. Level 2

Also, the sighted users would not recognize it as a bread crumb list.  The 
only clue the sighted user would get is from the tool tip [ title 
attribute] when they moved the mouse over the map of links.  Using CSS to 
format the order list horizontally would improve it somewhat, but the 
numbers, letters, etc. coming from the order list tag is what doesn't make 
sense to me.  For example, seeing or hearing the following would not be 
recognizable to me as a bread crumb list:

Bread crumbs, Map with 3 items:
1. Home, 2. Level 1, 3. Level 3

No commercial site is using order list to mark-up Bread crumbs.  Ordered 
list only sequence not hierarchy.  But maybe a best practice would be to 
wrap the traditional way of listing links in a bread crumb combined with 
the "label" (title attribute) on a MAP element.  Then the sighted users 
would see no difference from the traditional bread crumb list, except the 
added benefit of the tool tip / mouse over.  And the screen reader and 
keyboard only user would be able to navigate to the list and skip over the 
list, because of MAP support, and the screen reader user would hear 
something like:

Bread crumbs, Map with 3 items:

Home, which includes Products, followed by Specific Product, which 
contains This Page.

Improved example markup without ordered list, but including icons for the 
above:

<map title="Bread Crumbs">
<a href="home.html">Home</a>
<img src="GreaterThan.jpg" alt="which includes"><a 
href="level1.html">Level 1</a>

<img src="GreaterThan.jpg" alt="followed by"><a href="level2.html">Level 
2</a>

<img src="GreaterThan.jpg" alt="which contans">This page.

</map>

which could be replace by a hierarchal bread crumb list <bl> tag in XHTML 
2 in the future:

<bl title="Bread Crumbs">
<li><a href="home.html">Home</a></li>
<li><a href="level1.html">Level 1</a></li>
<li><a href="level2.html">Level 2</a></li>
<li>This page.</li>
</bl>


Regards,
Phill Jenkins
Received on Wednesday, 4 August 2004 15:52:33 UTC

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