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Re: Review of navigation bar issues for thursdays conference call

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 22:36:38 -0400
Message-Id: <199908250231.WAA16161@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 04:43 PM 8/24/99 -0700, Jon Gunderson wrote:
>
>Option 1:
>Using the DIV element and some type of CLASS or NAME identifier:
>PROs: Easy to implement and author
>CONs: There is no mechanism to reserve class names in HTML, there could be
>conflicts if specific class names are used

Variation: the TITLE and DIV approach.

After today's coordination group call, Len came up with the idea that
perhaps the TITLE attribute is a key resource.  If authors do the right
thing with the TITLE, maybe we don't need the UA to recognize some
particular CLASS to do the right thing.  Let's see what we can do if we
pursue that idea.

The basic dodge is that for things you want to move high up in the
navigation structure, you don't TITLE too many of their ancestors in the
parse tree; and for things you want to hide or minimize you add DIV
structures with TITLEs so that the collection gets listed rather than the
members (unless the user explicitly enters the collection).

The User Agent method that goes with this markup strategy is hierarchical
navigation of an Effective Table of Contents tree.  The Effective Table of
Contents tree is the parse tree except that containers that have no TITLE
attribute on them are ignored or equivalently flattened.  Elements below
them act (in the effective tree) as though they were directly descended
from the next TITLE-bearing ancestor up the tree.

The trick here is that DIV, on the other hand, lets us push things _down_
the tree.  We can encapsulate and quickly skip the page masthead, while the
TITLE technique lets us ignore non-semantic superstructure like layout tables.

The attached three files are 1) the original web page from Amazon.com 2)
the modified page with TITLE and DIV added according to this technique and
3) the top level of the resulting effective table of contents.

Think about it.

Al



Received on Tuesday, 24 August 1999 22:29:43 GMT

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