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RE: numbering proposal

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 01:04:33 -0600
To: "'Joe Clark'" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, "'WAI-GL'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-id: <003001c2eeaf$1556c210$a14efea9@TOSHIBATABLET>

Hi Joe,

I wasn't referring to any bugs in screen readers.   Not sure what gave that
I just meant the time it took to read different numbering approaches.

To see what I meant - just read the following aloud.

"N"  "3"  "M"  "2"    
which is quite fast and informative. I can tell this is the 3rd Checkpoint
under Navigation - 2nd success criteria under minimum.  becomes
"3"  "dot"  "3"  "dot"  "1"  "dot"  "2"  
which is longer, repetitive and harder to remember and interpret.   
("dot" may be "point" on some screen readers but result is same.)

You can read the other proposals aloud too and see what they sound like, and
how long they are.  
Remember that these numbers are read before each item in a list and break up
ones ability to view the items as groups.

Some ideas we have seen are 

- be sure each item has full and unique number or label
- make sure that the numbers are informative
- just put the lowest level numbering and use the titles above for context
- have full numbers but have a script that will shorten the numbering for
screen reader users
- use numbering that allows you to quickly place the success criteria even
when out of context
- make numbering easy and quick (short) to say for screen reader users who
must listen to it before each item.

In the grand scheme of things, the content is much more important than the
numbering - though someday we will need to pick a scheme - and there is some
advantage to doing it earlier for consistency. 

So if people have ideas - post em.   But we will pick some scheme pretty
soon that works well for all users (the goal of our guidelines) and get on
with the content part.



 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Joe Clark
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2003 3:12 PM
Subject: Re: numbering proposal
Importance: High

> Remember that all this has to be read aloud by screen reader users.
> Try reading there aloud before each item in a list. You begin to see what
> was nice about   N3M2

"A screen reader" here tends to mean "Jaws." The problem, at any
rate, is a *user agent* problem. It's not the author's problem. It
is up to screen-reader manufacturers to either improve their default
handling of letter-number combinations or allow users to adjust such

WAI should not write any portion of WCAG 2.0 around the bugs of Jaws
or any other product. That's one of 1.0's many failings.


  Joe Clark  |  joeclark@joeclark.org
  Author, _Building Accessible Websites_
  <http://joeclark.org/access/> | <http://joeclark.org/book/>
Received on Thursday, 20 March 2003 02:05:22 UTC

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