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Re: Why would link title = link text?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2003 21:33:09 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Bill Mason <w3c@accessibleinter.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 05:50 PM 2003-03-31, Bill Mason wrote:

>I keep running into this and today I just couldn't hold the question in 
>Why would you bother setting the title attribute on an <a> tag to the same 
>value as the link text of the <a> tag?
>Example: just about every link on http://www.firstgov.gov/

Maybe the answer has something to do with the actual experience of the web
with actual screen readers.

What screen reader is the most influential as far as U.S. Government
Webmasters' appreciation of "the web through a screen reader"?

Google for "link title jaws" and you get an earful.

Like, [possibly changed recently] a setting that will get you the link text
or the link title (but not both) on all links with both -- you choose.

Also I saw a page at the University of Minnesota teaching how to user Jaws,
but since it is at the top of the Google hit list there are lots of
references to it, and webmasters are likely to find it when wanting to know
how Jaws works, anyway.  Anyhow the examples of the virtues of a title here
were links with URLs in the link text and good link text in the title.

Then consider how often the link text on links is indeed
"http://gar.bag.e/more/junk/which/gets/s.p.e.l.l.e.d" and consider why some
users would _want_ to set the switch for just the title and not the link
text, given the frequency with which they encounter links like that.

Put the good text both places and users with a critical need for good link
description will get it one way or the other.  But not both anyway.  Only
the popup consumer gets the redundant info.  And since the popup display
accentuates the message more than the link-styling effect, there is actually
value in having the advert for the destination pop up by itself onMouseOver.

Hmmm.  I never know what people are thinking, but if that was what they were
thinking, would it be a total shock?


>Bill Mason
>Accessible Internet
Received on Tuesday, 1 April 2003 21:33:13 UTC

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