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Re: Landmarks on web pages

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 09:44:00 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>, w3c-wai-ui@w3.org
I think we want to write the guidelines so they are easy to understand by
developers.  Could browser developers respond to Scotts thoughts on the
format of the guidelines?

At 11:54 AM 3/7/98 -0800, Scott Luebking wrote:
>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'
>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
>(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?
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
Received on Monday, 9 March 1998 10:43:10 UTC

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