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Re: proposal for wording re: grouping links (WCAG techniques document)

From: Wendy A Chisholm <chisholm@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 10:40:19 -0500
Message-Id: <199908301540.KAA08719@trace.wisc.edu>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

I am responding to Charles' (CMN), Marja's, and Al's comments in this message.

>Sounds OK to me, except that <map>....</p> needs to be changed in the

>Actually I would suggest that we review our examples and make them into XHTML
>examples, or provde equivalent XHTML examples, in the event that XHTML
>becomes a recommendation.
I followed the "HTML Compatibility Guidelines"  within the XHTML spec
[available at http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#guidelines] to modify the
example.  Let me know if I've missed something.
(end of CMN:: comments)

Per the comments received, the following text is proposed for section
4.6.1.  Note that in considering Al's suggestions, proposed text for
sections 3.5 (navigation) and 3.11 (validation) will follow in a separate

Marja said that the first link took up too much visual space.  I actually
made it longer because until people get used to it, "bypass navigation bar"
does not give much information about where that link goes.  So, I added a
short phrase.  I also called it "skip" rather than "bypass" in hopes of
making it easier to understand.  I also added  the number of links in the
navigation bar to the "title" of the MAP to give the user some idea of how
many links they are missing.  This will help them gauge the consistentcy of
use of this element between pages.

I like Al's suggestion that if someone wants to hide it they can use a one
pixel image.  This is similar to the "invisible d-link." Although it is
kind of hack, if people are tabbing through links they will get to it. If
it is hidden with a style sheet it won't be in the tab order. 

Another option is to use something short like "D" with the "title"
attribute on the link.  I think we need to wait until UAs are making the
"title" attribute available consistently, and heck, by then they'll
probably be happily skipping around block content and we won't need that
first link anyway!  <grin>

Here's the revised proposal:

 4.6.1 Grouping and bypassing links 
 When links are grouped into logical sets (for example, a navigation bar
that appears on every page in a site) they should be marked up as a unit.
Navigation bars are usually the first thing someone encounters on a page.
For users with speech synthesizers, this means hearing the same links on
every page before reaching the interesting content of a page. Other
keyboard users, such as some users with physical disabilities, will have to
 tab through all of these links to reach links further down the page. Note:
 this is not true for all browsers. 
 We suggest using the MAP element with the "title" attribute to group and
label the links. There are a number of techniques that may be used to allow
users to jump past  the group of links. 
1. The first link in the group skips over the set of navigation links  when
2. Provide a style sheet that allows users to hide the set of navigation
3. Provide a script that shows or hides the set of navigation links as
desired by the user. 
 The first option seems to be most backwards and forwards compatible. The
other two options are not as backwards compatible  and will hopefully not
be necessary in the future as we anticipate that user agents will allow
users to skip over structural block elements such as  MAP or DIV. 
 In this example, the MAP element groups a set of links. The "title"
attribute gives it a human readable label, which may be anything from
"Credits," "QuickLinks around 
our site." The "class" attribute identifies  the group as a navigation bar
(e.g., for style sheets). The link at the  beginning of the group  links to
the anchor after the group.  This link will not be necessary once user
agents allow users to jump over block content.
     <TITLE>How to use our site</TITLE>
       <MAP title="Site-wide navigation bar - 12 choices" class="nav">    
         [<A href="#how" title="Bypass the links you have seen on every
other page and get right to the content.">Skip navigation bar.  Go to "how
to use this site."</A>]
         [<A href="home.html">Home</A>]
         [<A href="search.html">Search</A>]
         [<A href="new.html">New and highlighted</A>]
         [<A href="sitemap.html">Site map</A>]
         [ ... 8 other links ....]
       <H1><A name="how" id="how">How to use our site</A></H1>
     <!-- content of page -->     
  End example.
Received on Monday, 30 August 1999 11:40:57 UTC

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