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RE: Table linearization (was: A table navigation technique)

From: Denis Anson <danson@miseri.edu>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 15:26:13 -0500
To: "Al Gilman" <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Cc: <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>, <paul.adelson@citicorp.com>, <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>

This is similar, I think, to a method that I have considered for table
navigation.  If the issue is having access to a single cell at a time
(whether for vision or cognitive reasons), it would, it seems, be fairly
simple to simply render just one cell on the screen, possibly with the
header cells, if they exist, to the sides and top of the rendered cell.
With a single cell rendered, a screen reader could easily read the content
of the cell from the screen, since there would not be any other information
on the screen.  With this style of rendering, the arrow keys could allow the
user to move up, down, left and right, to determine the context of the

Someone like Chuck, who wants visual association between items on the screen
wouldn't use this type of navigation, but people who are overwhelmed by too
much data, or who need parts of the data at  a time rendered audibly, for
example, could use it easily.

Denis Anson, MS, OTR
Assistant Professor
College Misericordia
301 Lake Street
Dallas, PA 18612

Member since 1989 of:
The International Association of Assistive Technology Professionals

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On Behalf
Of Al Gilman
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 1998 2:10 PM
To: Al Gilman
Cc: jongund@staff.uiuc.edu; paul.adelson@citicorp.com; w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject: Re: Table linearization (was: A table navigation technique)

> to follow up on what Jon Gunderson said:
> > We have also been lacking any significant discussion of how
> > this may be implemented in browser other than it can be done
> > through third party assistive technology manipulating the DOM.

My last post on this subject started at the horizon and worked back.

Let's start from where we are today.

The most incremental technique I have thought of yet for how
browsers might implement orientation within a table is by adding
information fields into the context menu, making it more of a
"Where am I?" answer as well as "What can I do?"  This would
be useful under conditions of reduced visibility, regardless
of the cause.

As someone else stated well, one must be able to access each cell
by itself.  Somehow.  Making the minimum of assumptions about the
equipment environment as possible.  Once isolated, it needs to be
supported with context, but the context display could be
implemented by an "inspect" mode and not necessarily be part of
the same display supporting the "roam" mode [c.v. VRML, I am not
sure I have the modes named they way they call them.]

Received on Wednesday, 18 November 1998 15:25:56 UTC

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