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Proposal for WCAG 1.0 HTML Techniques module: using MAP group navigation links.

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000 15:23:11 -0400
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20000404140019.050ed540@localhost>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Some time ago (26 August to be precise) I took an action item to write a 
technique for using the MAP element to group navigation links.  Here is my 
proposal based on the minutes from the 26 August joint meeting between UA 
WG and WCAG WG 
[http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/1999JulSep/0307.html]

The main sticking point in the minutes was that the HTML recommendation did 
not specify say that it was o.k. to use MAP to mark up block content not 
associated with an image.  Since then, HTML 4.01 has been published and 
says, "The MAP element specifies a client-side image map (or other 
navigation mechanism) that may be associated with another elements (IMG, 
OBJECT, or INPUT). An image map is associated with an element via the 
element's usemap attribute. The MAP element may be used without an 
associated image for general navigation mechanisms."
[http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#edef-MAP]

I propose that section 6.2 of the HTML Techniques module should read:
<blockquote>
6.2 Grouping and bypassing links
Checkpoints in this section:
13.6 Group related links, identify the group (for user agents), and, until 
user agents do so, provide a way to bypass the group. [Priority 3]
10.5 Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render adjacent 
links distinctly, include non-link, printable characters (surrounded by 
spaces) between adjacent links. [Priority 3]

When links are grouped into logical sets (for example, in a navigation bar 
that appears on every page in a site) they should be marked up as a unit. 
Navigation bars are usually the first thing someone encounters on a page. 
For users with speech synthesizers, this means hearing a number of links on 
every page before reaching the interesting content. There are several ways 
to allow users to bypass groups of links (as users with vision do when they 
see the same set on each page):
- Include a link that allows users to skip over the set of navigation links.
- Use the HTML 4.0 "tabindex" attribute to allow users to jump to an anchor 
after the set of navigation links. This attribute is not yet widely supported.
- Provide a style sheet that allows users to hide the set of navigation links.
- In the future, user agents will allow users to skip over elements such as 
navigation bars.
- In HTML, use the MAP element to group links then identify the group with 
the "title" attribute.
Example.
In this example, the MAP element groups a set of links, the "title" 
attribute identifies it as a navigation bar, "tabindex" is set on an anchor 
following the group, and a link at the beginning of the group links to the 
anchor after the group. Also, note that the links are separated by 
non-link, printable characters (surrounded by spaces).
    <HEAD>
    <TITLE>How to use our site</TITLE>
    </HEAD>
    <BODY>
      <MAP title="navigation bar">
        [<A href="#how">Bypass navigation bar</A>]
        [<A href="home.html">Home</A>]
        [<A href="search.html">Search</A>]
        [<A href="new.html">New and highlighted</A>]
        [<A href="sitemap.html">Site map</A>]
      </MAP>
      <H1><A name="how" tabindex="1">How to use our site</A></H1>
    <!-- content of page -->
    </BODY>
This use of the MAP element is discussed in the HTML 4.01 Recommendation 
[reference].
</blockquote>


For comparison, the current HTML Techniques module 
[http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WD-WCAG10-TECHS-20000309/html-techniques.html] 
contains the following text:
<blockquote>
6.2 Grouping and bypassing links
Checkpoints in this section:
13.6 Group related links, identify the group (for user agents), and, until 
user agents do so, provide a way to bypass the group. [Priority 3]
10.5 Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render adjacent 
links distinctly, include non-link, printable characters (surrounded by 
spaces) between adjacent links. [Priority 3]
@@this section needs to be updated with the MAP technique discussed a while 
back
When links are grouped into logical sets (for example, in a navigation bar 
that appears on every page in a site) they should be marked up as a unit. 
Navigation bars are usually the first thing someone encounters on a page. 
For users with speech synthesizers, this means having to hear a number of 
links on every page before reaching the interesting content of a page. 
There are several ways to allow users to bypass groups of links (as users 
with vision do when they see the same set on each page):
Include a link that allows users to skip over the set of navigation links.
Use the HTML 4.0 "tabindex" attribute to allow users to jump to an anchor 
after the set of navigation links. This attribute is not yet widely supported.
Provide a style sheet that allows users to hide the set of navigation links.
In the future, user agents will allow users to skip over elements such as 
navigation bars.
In HTML, use the DIV, SPAN, P, or FRAME elements to group links then 
identify the group with the "id" or "class" attributes.
Example.
In this example, the P element groups a set of links, the "class" attribute 
identifies it as a navigation bar (e.g., for style sheets), "tabindex" is 
set on an anchor following the group, and a link at the beginning of the 
group links to the anchor after the group. Also, note that the links are 
separated by non-link, printable characters (surrounded by spaces).
    <HEAD>
    <TITLE>How to use our site</TITLE>
    </HEAD>
    <BODY>
      <P class="nav">
        [<A href="#how">Bypass navigation bar</A>]
        [<A href="home.html">Home</A>]
        [<A href="search.html">Search</A>]
        [<A href="new.html">New and highlighted</A>]
        [<A href="sitemap.html">Site map</A>]
      </P>
      <H1><A name="how" tabindex="1">How to use our site</A></H1>
    <!-- content of page -->
    </BODY>
</blockquote>

thoughts?
--wendy

--
wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
/--
Received on Tuesday, 4 April 2000 15:15:59 GMT

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