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Re: Seamless Accessibility (was Re: your mail)

From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 07:58:57 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: LBehrens <LBehrens@worldnet.att.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 04:11 AM 22/05/98 -0700, LBehrens wrote:
>Liam Quinn wrote:
>> ... D-links are obtrusive because they tell the non-visual user 
>> that he or she is viewing a visual page ... they should only be 
>> rendered when the user requests more information on how the page 
>> looks visually (as with the "*" key command in Lynx).
>Larry Behrens requests:
>Many of us are admittedly new to both the list and the finer points of 
>accessibiility.  Could you somehow rephrase the above (for those of us 
>who are logically impaired <G>). I thought the purpose of the D-link 
>IS so that those who want a verbal description can get one. (?)

LQ::  The D-link is a constant reminder to the non-visual user that she is
viewing a visual page.  A page that provides seamless accessibility makes
the non-visual user (and every other user) feel that the page is made
specifically for her, specifically for her browsing environment.  If you
were writing a page specifically for a non-visual browsing environment, you
would not include an image, so the seamlessly accessible page should appear
to be imageless when viewed by a non-visual user.

>Are you opining that the D-links themselves should only appear on
>request, rather than being a constant reminder that *there's more*?

LQ::  Yes.

>If so (and I can agree with that concept), do you have a suggestion on 
>how that might best be done on a page?

LQ::  An author would use the LONGDESC attribute of IMG rather than an
explicit D-link.  With OBJECTs, the author has no method to give a long
description since there is no LONGDESC attribute on OBJECT; perhaps a
future version of HTML will fix this.

User agents should, by default, hide long descriptions unless requested to
show them (either all the time or for the current page).  In Lynx, the "*"
command key should add a "[D]" or "[Desc.]" link right after the "[IMAGE]"
(which could probably be replaced by the IMG's TITLE in brackets).  A
graphical browser could do something similar, with the IMG's TITLE linked
to the long description and displayed in brackets (or perhaps an inset
frame) just after the ALT text.

Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/
Received on Friday, 22 May 1998 07:58:58 UTC

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