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Re: [webwatch] What's Up with http://www.fedworld.gov

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2001 11:10:51 -0400
Message-Id: <200106081508.LAA353597@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: wai-tech-comments@w3.org
Here is a copy of a reply I just posted on the webwatch mailing list.

It is a good concrete example from current web design practice relating to the
XHTML 2.0 objective of capturing more of what gets put in scripts today into a
declarative, repurposable information structure.

This one is an inaccessible result attained by scripting.

The flyout menus on the Kansas state home page at ksu dot edu are a companion
example.  Here the resulting site is accessible, but this is because of
parallels in the information that cannot be confirmed withough symbolic
execution of all the scripts.

Either we bite the bullet and walk through all the states of scripts as if
were executing as part of accessibility checking, or we try to get the data
into a more auditable form.  HTML Working group has indicated interest in the
latter path.  Here's some cases to illustrate approaches with.


At 11:32 PM 2001-06-07 -0400, Kelly Ford wrote:
>Hi All,
>I haven't tried this with anything but JAWS thus far.  But
><<http://www.fedworld.gov/>http://www.fedworld.gov> has a combo box of many
services that one can
>select from.  With the JAWS Virtual PC on, there's a link just before the
>combo box and it reads pull this down to list informatioon services.  With
>the VPC off, that same link reads browse the Fedworld information network.
>The code seems to do some OnMouseOver and OnMouseOut changing of text on
>the status line that JAWS is turning into the link in question.

AG::  In terms of the code and the status line: yes, you have it exactly

Wait 'til you try to read the ads in the right hand column.

The scripted status line messages on this page are generally authored to
supplement, not to replace, the link text that tells you what you will get if
you follow the link.  But Jaws can't read two things at once.  So you get the
supplement and miss the basics.

If the status line were telling you status stuff, Jaws would be right to break
away from the routine action to tell you the exceptional status situation
announced on the status line.  But the problem is that Jaws has no
knowledge of
who put that message in the status line.  The promotional slogans from the
script are accorded the same priority as real status information from the

In the case of the navigation tool you refer to, the situation is even worse,
because the text 
"Browse the FedWorld Information Network" is serving two functions at
once.  It
serves both as a a header for the list box that follows, letting you select a
section of the site, and at the same time as link text for a link to a more
detailed description of the kinds of services offered.  The onMouseOver
statusline pop-on text is appropriate to its role as header for the subsequent
select and go control.  It does not relate to the link action at all.  So when
the link text gets superceded, you lose your orientation to where the link
goes, entirely.


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Received on Friday, 8 June 2001 11:08:44 UTC

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