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Re: More materials for preparation for todays discussion of grouping links in the telecon

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 23:02:20 -0400 (EDT)
To: thatch@us.ibm.com
cc: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9908292245590.27994-100000@tux.w3.org>
To look at it another way.

Lynx allows the user to move from link to link, whether or not they are
separated by anything. It also allows the user to view the links, one per
line. This should enable pretty much anything to cope.

Explorer and Netscape (on most platforms) allow you to tab through links,
again regardless of whether they have separating characters.

So I would suggest that in the future we should ask for sepaaration of links,
since it is important, but that the separation only needs to be clear. For
example, visually they should be seperated, for example by ckear space.

At a techniques level, it can be argued that clear space can in fact be a
part of the link, so long as there is an obvious part that is a link. For
example in an image map it may be the case that an image is entirely divided
into a dozen links. If the image is a series of words, spaced as if a phrase,
and which make sense as a phrase, it is not immediately clear how to separate
the links. This is worse if some of the links are larger than others. But if
each link has extra space around it they are separated.

The issue applies to motor and cognitive disabilities. Sadly, I don't have
any usability data on the seriousness of the effect, which makes it difficult
to determine the priority of the requirement.

Charles McCN

On Sat, 28 Aug 1999 thatch@us.ibm.com wrote:

  I am note sure, but I think there were dependent agents (screen readers) that
  didn't separate links lacking normal text between them. I don't know of any that
  have that problem today. So if the recommendation to separate links with normal
  text is still there, it probably should be removed.
  Jim Thatcher
  IBM Special Needs Systems
  "Alan J. Flavell" <flavell@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk> on 08/28/99 01:19:35 PM
  Please respond to A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk
  To:   James Thatcher/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
  cc:   w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
  Subject:  Re: More materials for preparation for todays discussion of   grouping
        links in the telecon
  On Thu, 26 Aug 1999 thatch@us.ibm.com wrote:
  > Window Eyes has skip to next non-active element. That often helps,
  > but not when authors put normal "[", "]" and "|" around links!
  That's unfortunate, because I had been going to extra trouble to
  separate active links with non-active non-blank characters just like
  that, as a result of an earlier accessibility recommendation :-}
  While I guess we'll all agree that this business is built on
  compromise, I'm now wondering whether the optimal compromise may have
  best regards

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Sunday, 29 August 1999 23:02:35 UTC

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