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Re: frames and no frames content

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 15:58:24 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFEFC5841D.7ED2C519-ON86257006.006FE34A-86257006.00733656@us.ibm.com>
> > Also as a side query, does anyone have any stats on browsers used that 
** do not understand frames.
>That's the wrong question.  I think you mean which browsers don't 
>display frames as IE does.  In which case the answer includes:
> Lynx (displays frame names as links)
> W3C's own Amaya (more or less the same as Lynx)
> WebTV (gateway converts to tables)
> Most if not all PDA and mobile phone browsers.
> All non-visual browsers, except tactile.

Hmmm?  Home Page Reader, traditional screen readers, and even my cell 
phone browser give me a list of the frames (similar to Lynx) and let me 
pick which frame to navigate to and read or interact with.  This is 
nothing different than a traditional screen reader giving me a list of 
windows opened on my desktop, and allowing me to list them, navigate to 
one, and interact with it. 

However, Home Page Reader and many traditional screen readers speaking the 
content of a visual browser do also display the frame set visually as well 
- but the point is, that is not how you interact with a set of frames (or 
windows) through an audio (screen reader) interface - which is very 
sequential one at a time interface.  You can't "hear" all the frames at 
the same time like a sighted user can see them at the same time.  So both 
frames and frame sets can be accessible even thought there are necessarily 
different ways to render, navigate, and interact with them.

Once each of the frames have titles, one of the only remaining true 
accessibility issue is how to author content in one frame that affects 
content in another frame and what to expect the user agent (browser and 
assistive technology) to do about it. 

No Frames doesn't really help in this situation.  Frames are not the 
problem here either. 

The same thing can be done with a plain html page.  For example when a 
user clicks on a link, a new page is loaded with 80% of the content the 
same, but the new and changed part has some additional meaning conveyed 
because of it's visual proximity or layout ONLY - that is the problem! The 
key words here are "additional" and "visual only". 

But, please do not confuse this with the whole concept of learning to use 
a software application.  One enters data or clicks on links or buttons or 
whatever and things get processed and changed and re-displayed.  All users 
have to then "learn" to use the application.  If one user can't learn it 
because of a barrier, e.g., missing alternative text for an image, then 
that is an true accessibility concern.

Received on Thursday, 19 May 2005 20:58:39 UTC

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