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Re: new mail archives format (was Re: EOWG Agenda, Jan 7, 2000)

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2000 12:00:08 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, w3c-wai-eo@w3.org

I'll follow up w/ the Web team and Communications team on those two issues.

The Webmaster FAQ problem we're aware of, and were discussing how to fix
earlier this week (it ironically works just as miserably for sighted
users), and the archive format is new since the turn of the year, and
obviously problematic in terms of link names.



At 11:24 AM 1/7/00 -0500, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>aloha, judy!
>in the agenda announcement for the 7 january 2000 EO telecon, you wrote:
>Remember you can always check the EOWG archives, at 
>	<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-eo/>;
>try out the new archive format.
>to which i reply that i really dislike the new format, as it makes it
>impossible for anyone using speech output alone to navigate the archive via
>a list of links, as there is no means of differentiating between the
>boilerplate hyperlink text for "date", "thread", "author", and "subject"...
> there are currently nine hyperlinks with the hyperlink text "date", nine
>with the hyperlink text "thread", nine with the hyperlink text "author",
>and nine with the hyperlink text "subject" listed in a list of links for
>the EO mail archive -- how am i to differentiate between them?
>i vastly preferred the old introductory format, where i could make sense of
>the archive divisions, such as:
>Since January 2000
>October to December 1999
>July to September 1999
>when navigating via a list of links, and _then_ choose to have the messages
>listed by date, thread, author, or subject...
>would it be possible to have both interfaces available?  would it also be
>possible to add semantic information to the boilerplate hyperlink text via
>the use of the TITLE attribute, so that rather than being encoded as:
><a href="1999OctDec/">date</a>
><a href="1999OctDec/thread.html">thread</a>
><a href="1999OctDec/author.html">author</a>
><a href="1999OctDec/subject.html">subject</a>
>the link would be encoded thus:
><a href="1999OctDec/" 
>	title="Messages from October to December 1999 sorted by date"
>	>date</a>
><a href="1999OctDec/thread.html" 
>	title="Messages from October to December 1999 sorted by thread"
>	>thread</a>
><a href="1999OctDec/author.html" 
>	title="Messages from October to December 1999 sorted by author"
>	>author</a>
><a href="1999OctDec/subject.html" 
>	title="Messages from October to December 1999 sorted by subject"
>	>subject</a>
>implementation of the latter suggestion would (to a certain extent) reduce
>the need for offering an alternative view -- read: providing the option to
>view the archive using the old interface -- provided, of course, that one's
>UA and/or AT is capable of exposing to the user titles that have been
>defined for hyperlinks, either through a list of links or -- ideally, and
>-- by serial navigation (i.e. tabbing from link to link)...
>in any event, this touches on one of my personal crusades -- the attempt to
>get page authors to use semantically sensible -- and, wherever possible,
>unique -- hyperlink text for every hyperlink on a page...  by semantically
>sensible, i mean hyperlink text which does NOT rely on surrounding
>contextual information ...
>additionally, i'm troubled by the fact that, by violating WCAG Checkpoint
>13.1, which states,
>13.1 Clearly identify the target of each link. [Priority 2]
>Link text should be meaningful enough to make sense when read out of
>context -- either on its own or as part of a sequence of links. Link text
>should also be terse. For example, in HTML, write "Information about
>version 4.3" instead of "click here". In addition to clear link text,
>content developers may further clarify the target of a link with an
>informative link title (e.g., in HTML, the "title" attribute). 
>the new archive format could only obtain a Single-A conformance rating, and
>i think it behooves W3C space to be (at least) Double-A compliant...
>which, brings me to the Webmaster FAQ, located at:
>	<http://cgi.w3.org/cgi-bin/FAQ.pl>
>this page is an accessibility nightmare, for when it is navigated via the
>keyboard using speech (JFW 3.5, to be precise), all that is echoed is:
>"W3C Homepage visited link"
>"FAQ link"
>"Display button"
>"Display button"
>"Display button"
>"Display button"
>"Display button"
>"Display button"
>"Display button"
>"Display button"
>"Display button"
>(note: only the first 2 items listed above appear in a list of links for
>the page)
>since the forms that drive the FAQ page are embedded within a TABLE, one
>cannot even obtain surrounding contextual information by using the "speak
>entire line" screen-review command...  moving the display button cell from
>the first item in the row to the last helps somewhat -- at least, when
>using JFW 3.5 -- making it possible to use the "speak from left margin to
>cursor" screen-review command to obtain the contextual information to
>associate with the button, but that is far from an obvious solution for
>anyone who is simply trying to use the page to report a problem...
>all that being said, i DO like the addition of the search form to the mail
>He that lives on Hope, dies farting
>     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
>Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
>   WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
>        <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html>
Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) International Program Office
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 7 January 2000 12:00:26 UTC

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