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Landmarks on web pages

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 11:54:40 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199803071954.LAA08937@netcom7.netcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-ui@w3.org
Hi,
I have a suggestion which might be helpful for writing the guidelines.
It is often useful to write guidelines not so much from the perspective of
the writer but from the perspective of the reader.  This approach can often
make it easier for the reader to understand.  Since we want browser
companies to understand the guidelines and agree to implement them, we need
to think about how the browser company's might look at things.
Also, the easier it looks to do, the more likely browser developers
will do the needed work.

My suspicion is that many of the browsers are written using object-oriented
technology.  The object-oriented technology has many advantages, but one
challenge is that good object-oriented programmers need to think
fairly abstractly about the issues, much more abstractly than programmers
writing in C, etc.

The guidelines reference things like headers, links, forms.  One suggestion
is to come up with an abstract class name for them.  The term 'elements' could
be used, but I think a term which somehow conveys the navigation aspect might
be very helpful.  (Many elements in HTML are not related to navigation.)
My suggestion is the term 'landmark elements' or just 'landmarks' for short.  
(Actually, it might be useful to drop the 'elements' part in case there
might be navigation points which don't exactly correspond to HTML elements.)

If the abtract class is "landmarks", then various sub-classes can be:

    links
    headers
    paragraphs
    begin form
    end form
    input fields
    begin list
    end list
    list item
    begin table
    end table
    table cell

The various types of landmarks actually have similarities in navigation.

Explicit navigation

    e.g.  go to link numbered 5

Sequence navigation

    e.g.  go to next/previous header

Navigation via list of landarks

    e.g.  go to zip code field in form


A few of the landmarks have actions associated with them.  The landmark
class structure could look like:

    landmarks

        headers
        paragraphs
        begin form
        end form
        begin list
        end list
        list item
        begin table
        end table
	table cell

	action landmarks

            links
	    input fields

The action landmarks could be triggered by explicit specification
or by having the landmark highlighted in some way.

Does this class structure make sense?

Scott
Received on Saturday, 7 March 1998 14:54:49 EST

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