W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > July to September 1998

A few notes on "single frame mode"

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 19:12:26 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199809290212.TAA01865@netcom5.netcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Hi,
Here are some notes I wrote down about single frame mode.
Scott

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Frames can be kind of awkward for a blind person to use with a screen
reader.  One of the problems is trying to figure out what each frame is
used for.  Other problems can be navigating between frames or
controlling each frame.

An alternative to displaying all the frames at the same time is to show
a single frame at a time and let the user switch among frames.  This
"single frame mode" can be much easier for a blind user.

When a browser gets a page with a frameset, the browser reads all the
files for the various frames.  If the browser were in the single frame
mode, instead of displaying all the frames, the browser could generate a
new web page which has a summary of the various frames along with links
to the web page for each frame.  The browser would then read the
generated web page with the frameset summary and display it on the
screen.  The user could choose which frame to see by choosing the
appropriate link on the summary web page.

When the browser is in the "single frame mode", it will need to support
the following user actions.

    1.  display summary web page for current frameset

    2.  go to next web page in list of web pages for the current frameset

    3.  go to previous web page in list of web pages for current frameset

    4.  go back in stack of web pages to the previous web page which
        is displayed in the same frame area as the current web page

    5.  go forward in stack of web pages to the previous web page which
        is displayed in the same frame area as the current web page

    6.  go back in stack of web pages to the web page which
        is not in the current frameset and is not the summary
	web page for the current frameset

    7.  go forward in stack of web pages to the web page which
        is not in the current frameset and is not the summary
	web page for the current frameset

    8.  bookmark web page for current frame (rather than web page
        for all the frames)

(In addition, whenever the user asks to see the summary, the browser will
need to regenerate the summary web page if one of the web pages in a
frame has been replaced.)

Some useful information which could be presented in the summary web page
for each web page in a frame includes:

      number of links
      number of forms
      number of tables
      number of images
      number of significant words
      any description

This information can help a user get an impression about the purpose of
each page in a frame.  For example, if the web page in a frame has many
links, but few significant words, then the page is probably an index of
some kind.  A web page with many significant words is probably a text
page.  A web page with only a couple of pictures and few significant
words or links is probably for decoration.
Received on Monday, 28 September 1998 22:12:29 UTC

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