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RE: Two links (Image and Text) side by side - was Re: Another question about JAWS 4.01 rendering

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 21:51:23 -0500
Message-Id: <200202220251.VAA130934@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 09:01 PM 2002-02-21 , Jim Thatcher wrote:
>I have not even heard a suggestion of how to solve this problem. 

Let's at least change that.

There are two suggestions that are obvious candidates for changing the HTML structure, here. 

The one discussed at the end of the reference I gave is to extend LABEL to links, so that the image in one layout cell can be the LABEL for the link that contains the text.  Or vice versa.  What this takes is that activate events that hit either the text or the image follow the same href.  It requise the screen logic to be smart enough to apply 'has focus' styling to both of these at once rather than just one or the other.

We also need to get the 'list of links' builders to understand this and count distinct destinations and not screen objects, as there will still be two distinct sensitive screen objects.  I think that with a direct IDREF association this could be possible, where it just doesn't get done today.  

At least with this device they are clearly defined as two heads of _the same_ link.

Another way to do this is via a define/use cycle the way SVG handles common subexpressions.  This can be done peer-to-peer if we define the action on one of the hyperlinks by reference to the other to make the identification clear.  This can be an upward-compatible grammar substitution (old documents are OK, old browsers are not...) where the hyperlink has either an attribute that gives you the URI-reference as in the current href or one that refers locally to another element defining the appropriate URI-reference.  That would make it reasonably easy for the assistive technology to collapse the list entries with the same destination.  They would be linked by this cross reference, it would not require N**2 comparisons of link URLs to determine the repeats.  

Similarly, we could use a <linkDef> element in the <head> of the document and then use <linkRef> elements in the body, two of which cited the common <linkDef> and hence get collected as one list item in the list of links.

That's the general idea.

It's worth a go, IMHO.



>I'm sorry that I missed the beginning of this thread because it is one on my
>favorite topics. The issue is an image next to text with both being links to
>the same URL. It raises a problem that crops up so often and usually can't
>simply be solved. www.ibm.com is mentioned below, but not as described. They
>have alt text on the image which the same as the text of the image. So a
>blind user has to hear "link online savings link online savings" ... which

>is annoying.
>You can not put alt="" on the image because it is a link and will show up in
>lists of links and in the tab order with no text. No good. Inadequate link
>The simple solution is to include both the image and the text in the SAME
>anchor and then put alt="" on the image, because then indeed the image is
>completely redundant. That is a good solution.
>The problem is that that solution almost never works because the image and
>text are almost surely to be in separate table cells and the anchor can't
>span those.
>I have not even heard a suggestion of how to solve this problem. It is one
>of the rare cases where a real solution requires significant redesign of the
>page. My recommendation is always to be use the repetitive text.
>While we are on favorite topics, alt=quote space quote is mentioned below,
>and I strongly believe that is never correct.
>Accessibility Consulting
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
>Behalf Of Al Gilman
>Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2002 6:00 PM
>To: goliver@accease.com; jm.damour@camo.qc.ca
>Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Subject: Re: Two links (Image and Text) side by side - was Re: Another
>question about JAWS 4.01 rendering
>At 04:05 PM 2002-02-21 , goliver@accease.com wrote:
>>However, perhaps a better solution would need to be
>I think we should.
>Compare with
> <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-tech-comments/2001May/thread.html
>(whole thread)
>>Hi Jean-Marie
>>I confirmed this behaviour when the *image is a link*.
>>This has interesting consequences for the sort of
>>design where there are two links side by side to the
>>same place (an image link and a text link),to aid
>>people who may prefer image navigation.
>>I think the IBM site (as an example) chose to have
>>alt="" for the image in order not to have the same link
>>text read out twice in a row.
>>However, perhaps a better solution would need to be
>>I don't like using alt = " " on an image as a link
>>because when you mouseover you get a little box, which
>>can be confusing!
>>For clarification when the image is *not* a link alt=""
>>does *not* read the name of the image.
>>On Mon, 18 February 2002, jm.damour@camo.qc.ca wrote
>>> Hello all,
>>> In JAWS 4.01, for an image with a null alt text
>>(alt=""), JAWS read the name
>>> of the image. If  alt is alt=" ", JAWS don't read the

>>> I think it is a result wich can surprise many Web
>>> Jean-Marie D'Amour, M.Ed.
>>> CAMO pour personnes handicapées
>>> <http://www.camo.qc.ca/>www.camo.qc.ca
>>> Montréal, Québec, Canada
>>AccEase Ltd : Making on-line information accessible
>>Phone : +64 9 846 6995
>>Email : goliver@accease.com
Received on Thursday, 21 February 2002 21:51:17 UTC

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