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Re: [webwatch] Question On Double Links

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 12:45:02 -0400
Message-Id: <200105011639.MAA12590463@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: webwatch@yahoogroups.com
Cc: wai-tech-comments@w3.org
I consider this a known problem with HTML.  Actually, it may be viewed a
problem either in the implementation of CSS or the definition of HTML,
depending on how you look at it.  Had the page been laid out with CSS
positioning and not with the aid of TABLE markup, the code could embed all the
sensitive stuff in one anchor element and hence present you with one link, one
ALT, and you would be home free.  But your contemporary web designer may be
reluctant to do that because of the variations in how it looks in different

Nothing I can offer you provides an instant fix.

One path to a remedy is to get the Adobe webmaster to join forces with you and
the Web Standards Group to get more of CSS positioning implemented
across the browsers, and then use it to lay the page out.

Other avenues of relief involve more modern code such that sites may not be
willing to implement it yet.

Something to experiment with is constructing this region of the page as a
pasteup in SVG that is inserted in the HTML via the OBJECT element.  Then a
fallback to a sub-table with multiple links would be feasible.

Just so it doesn't become a forgotten problem with HTML, I copied your post
into the mail archive where we are caching ideas for HTML reform in XHTML


Yes, the second image is an image of the same words that appear in the ALT
for both images.  No, having the ALTernative reading of the content say the
exact same thing twice is not the swiftest design.  I might drop the "It's
here:" part from the ALT on the first one, which is the Acrobat icon.

One concept we have discussed a little, but which is by no means committed to
yet, is the idea of extending the LABEL capability to links similar to what
can do now with form controls.  If this were the case we could make the first
image a label for the link and therby have but one link to the one place, with
both text and icon sensitive regions associated with one and the same link.

The objective is to give the designer the option to compose the visible
of a link freely with image and text content, but to have the model visible to
the access technology know that there is one link there.  There is one
destination, and the pieces of the visible, sensitive surface of the link are
adjacent.  It is more one thing than multiple things.  And the gratuitous
repetition detracts materially, as you have noted.  Just how it gets coded in
XHTML 2.0 is the subject of technical design by the HTML Working Group that
could change the details.  But if we can achieve that functionality it will
have cured a major time-waster.


At 12:16 PM 2001-04-29 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi All,
>Again my point isn't to single out any web site mentioned but rather to 
>explore the issues raised.  I've noticed this more and more where there are 
>double links to items, often I believe because the web designer wants a 
>graphic and text to both be clickable.  Maybe it is just me but it is 
>frustrating to have to read or tab through the same link twice.
>The most recent example of this I noticed was on
>with links talking about the new Acrobat 5.0.  In the Adobe case I believe 
>even the text is really a graphic of the text which has been properly alt 
>The actual page is at <<http://www.adobe.com/>http://www.adobe.com>. 
Below is
the section of the 
>page in question, although you will want to visit the original page to see 
>the graphics.
>Is there anything we can advise to turn such designs into single links or 
>is this just something that is due to the design with no good 
>solutions?  Should the alt text on both images be identical?
>                         <TR>
>                           <TD WIDTH="125" VALIGN="middle"><A 
>HREF="/products/acrobat/main.html"><IMG SRC="/ads/p0044/p0044_2.gif" 
>WIDTH="125" HEIGHT="125" BORDER="0" ALT="It's here: Acrobat 5"></A></TD>
>                           <TD WIDTH="5"><SPACER TYPE="block" WIDTH="5" 
>                           <TD WIDTH="155" VALIGN="top">
>                             <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" 
>                               <TR HEIGHT="20">
>                                 <TD WIDTH="155" ALIGN="left"
>                               </TR>
>                               <TR HEIGHT="18">
>                                 <TD WIDTH="155" ALIGN="left" 
>HEIGHT="18"><A HREF="/products/acrobat/main.html"><IMG 
>SRC="/ads/p0312/p0312_txt.gif" WIDTH="155" HEIGHT="18" BORDER="0" ALT="It's 
>here: Acrobat 5"></A></TD>
>                               </TR>
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Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2001 12:40:01 UTC

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