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Re: design template?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 14:57:35 +0200
Message-ID: <3EC23D3F.3080707@sidar.org>
To: "Scarlett Julian (ED)" <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>
CC: "W_w3c (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

You should definitely be using some kind of content management system 
here - whether it is as simple as Server Side Includes, as complex as a 
purpose built system, or something in between (some code that stores 
your page content and assembles pages automatically and puts them in 
place, so you can edit an entry in your source data for a single page or 
the source data for the common stuff and it automatically gets included 
in the right places.

As for Menus with submenus there are various ways of making them appear 
which are accessible in the sense that there is a way to find all the 
links on the page (some approaches cause problems becausee you need to 
focus on the main menu to have the submenu appear, and screen readers 
read what is in focus - so the submenu is affectively invisible). There 
are usability issues with this approach, and you should be somewhat 
careful of using it (it looks cool and lets authors put lots of 
information and links on a page, but that doesn't necessarily make life 
better for the people trying to understand the page...)



Scarlett Julian (ED) wrote:

>I'm not sure that the main focus of your question has anything to do with accessibility. A good mailing list for general web design questions such as this is found at http://www.babblelist.com/ There is also an archive to search on that page and I'm pretty sure that this question will have arisen on there before.
>Anyway back to your question: it seems to me that your best way forward would be either the use of 'include' files for the sections that are constant throughout the site. You could also use server-side scripting (php and asp are the commonest depending on your host platform) to generate these areas of the pages. This means that you only have one file to edit in order to change the relevant section of each page 
>Now for the bit of your query that most definitely is about accessibility - the use of pop-up menus. As far as I know there is no way to do this without the use of client side scripting (you could use css to achieve the same effect but that is fraught with browser issues/bugs/incompatibilities). If you rely on client-side scripting to generate the sub-menus then you will have to ensure that you also provide equivalent menus for non-javascript enabled browsers (probably with <noscript> content). If possible make the sub-menus device independent i.e. use onFocus rather than onMouseover for those users who have mobility problems but use a javascript enabled browser.
>This topic has been covered several times on the list and I'm sure if you search the archives you'll get some more comprehensive responses than I have given here. (Just checked and there has been a very recent thread called "Javascript" initiated by Angela Hilton that you may want to review).
>hope this helps
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Lam, Ming [mailto:Ming.Lam@health.wa.gov.au]
>>Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 7:38 AM
>>To: W_w3c (E-mail)
>>Subject: design template?
>>Hi all 
>>I am about to design my first decent size web page and would like some
>>advice.  There are many design with menu on the left panel 
>>and detail on the
>>right panel.  I would like the menu to remain the same 
>>throughout and the
>>detail in the right panel changes when a menu item is 
>>selected.  The submenu
>>would pop up when I place the mouse on top of the item.
>>Does this mean that I will end up with one html file for each 
>>new page?
>>This means a large portion of the html code for each page 
>>will be the same.
>>If so, when I add or change a menu item, does this mean that 
>>I would edit
>>each html page?  
>>Ming Lam
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Received on Wednesday, 14 May 2003 08:58:13 UTC

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