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RE: Skip links ARE a markup problem (was RE: Skip links should be a markup problem)

From: Patrick Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 10:05:15 +0100
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B9FD6CAB@misnts16.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> David Woolley

> Link has essentially dropped out of the HTML series of specifications
> because commercial web developers consider it of no value (no visual
> effect).

Dropped out of the specs? Last I looked, it was alive and well. You mean
the elements have been ignored by most developers.
What about META tags? They don't have a visual effect, but some commercial
developers obsess about them ;)
I'd argue that the one major factor that has kept LINK from being
widely used in the past is the non-existent support (by which I mean "exposing
it to the user in any reasonable sort of way") for LINK in IE (and
less than obvious presence of LINK site navigation even in things like
Netscape 6 etc). So it's a chicken/egg problem: until a critical mass of
sites uses LINK relationships, IE won't support it...and as long as
that's the case, adding proper LINKs to a site that you know is mostly
visited by users with IE is a thankless task.

> In my view that one has always been obvious to anyone who believes 
> HTML is about structure.  The reason it hasn't happened is that 
> browsers are able to produce the wanted visual effect without it and
> making use of it may constrain the layout options.

Again, maybe I'm being too idealistic, but the situation *is* slowly changing,
as more and more large sites are cleaning up their act...but we've still got
a long way to go.

Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
Received on Wednesday, 27 April 2005 09:05:13 UTC

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