W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > September 2001

Re: Quality tips: ready for release?

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 15:11:21 -0700
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20010928150151.00cbc2a0@garth.idyllmtn.com>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org, www-qa@w3.org
At 02:56 PM 9/28/2001 , Dan Connolly wrote:
>I integrated various updates to the tips
>themselves... added Aaron's "click here"
>tip with supporting materials from Sean.

In my opinion, the argument "but not everyone clicks!"
is entirely the wrong reason for telling people not to use
"click here."

"Click here" is bad because it's poor hypertext; the link doesn't
convey any information.  The idea that someone's "feelings might
get hurt" or that people "might not understand what's meant by
clicking" or other such nonsense is simply that:  Nonsense,
and it _confuses the issues_ about what accessibility really
means.

Nobody in the universe misunderstands "click here", it's slang,
it's a figure of speech.  People using screenreaders _do_ click,
they just click with a mouse.  This is a non-issue when it comes
to accessibility.  Nobody accessing content with a cell phone
is going to sit there puzzled and confused, fretting because they
have no mouse but the tiny screen says "click here."  No blind
users are going to have fits because they have to click with a
keyboard and not click with a mouse.

A "tip" of this kind is almost as bad as the early days of web
accessibility when people got the impression that "images are
bad!", and we are _still_ suffering from that perception, causing
people to reject the idea of accessible web sites because they
don't want to give up their images, and causing people who _do_
decide to make accessible [sic] web pages to neglect people with
cognitive disabilities or reading difficulties.

_Bad link text_, meaning, anything that is not particularly
descriptive and intuitive and helpful, now, _that_ is a problem,
and if you are going to object to "click here" then those are
valid grounds -- as well as valid grounds for a number of other
complaints about poor link text, too.

--Kynn

PS:  Frankly, I find the following to be a worse sin than any
      reasonably clear (from context) link using the words "click
      here":  The nonsense gibberish on the bottom of every single
      W3C web site:

      $Revision: 1.7 $ of $Date: 2001/09/28 21:50:53 $ by $Author: connolly $

      That's ridiculous.  That stuff doesn't go in the footer of the
      page; it goes in meta tags and if something MUST be displayed,
      it should be displayed in a human-friendly format not some 
      bizarre hackerish code.  Grow up, W3C, this is 2001.

-- 
Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                http://kynn.com/
Technical Developer Liaison, Reef             http://www.reef.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://idyllmtn.com/
Online Instructor, Accessible Web Design     http://kynn.com/+d201
Received on Friday, 28 September 2001 18:13:34 GMT

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