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Re: [css3-multicol] accessibility and UX

From: Shelby Moore <shelby@coolpage.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 13:50:47 -0400
Message-ID: <6e0294ba217ed47d159d49a306a20893.squirrel@sm.webmail.pair.com>
To: "Håkon Wium Lie" <howcome@opera.com>
Cc: "Daniel Glazman" <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
> Also sprach Daniel Glazman:
>
>  > I think we have a light problem with columns as they are specified in
>  > CSS. In case the height of a multicolumned element is higher than the
>  > height of the viewport, the user experience becomes awful because when
>  > you reach the bottom of a column, you must use the pointer to scroll
>  > back to the top of the next column. In terms of accessibility, some
>  > people just cannot scroll like you and me, so that's a huge issue
>  > we should probably address.
>
> I'm not sure the spec should try handle it. Tables impose the same
> problem: if a table cell is higher than the viewport, the user may
> have to scroll up and down to read the first cell, before moving on to
> the second cell in the row.

Afaics, you have missed the key point.

Tables have rows. Accessibility can scroll by row with "Next" button
should it so desire.

And browsers are free to layout the inline content of table rows such that
they are never taller than the viewport.

The only time this fails is when the block content of a row is taller than
the viewport, but then accessibility can employ a zoom out function.

The key point is that the rows are enumerated and can thus optionally be
scrolled with "Next".

And this is the reason we have to fix the CR for mult-col, as I have
explained too many times already:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2010Oct/0417.html

"...it is the fundamental reason why Daniel Glazman is noting that the
current CR is broken for accessibility[*] (because current CR does not
allow rows of columns, so that accessibility can't page columns vertically
with a "Next" button)..."

Could someone please read what I am writing there?

> In fact, multicol offer a way out of the table problem. By setting
> sensible numbers on column-width (say, 20em), there will often only be
> one column on small screens (where the accessibility problem would
> otherwise appear). If the author uses tables, the problem remains.
>
>  > Adding an informative note to the spec saying "warning, a columned
>  > element higher than the viewport poses accessibility issues" is a
>  > strict minimum here but, again, given the wide variety of viewports
>  > we have around us, I'm not sure it's enough. I have a strong preference
>  > for a solution allowing users to deal with columned content IF the
>  > issue appears...
>
> We could possibly add a note explaining the problem and encourage
> people to test their content on many types of screens.

No this is the wrong way.  Fix multi-col instead please.
Received on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 17:51:18 GMT

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