W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-archive@w3.org > April 2002

RE: [webwatch] Change Column Layout on WAI Page

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 14:24:52 -0500
To: webwatch@yahoogroups.com
Cc: www-archive@w3.org
Message-id: <NDBBKJDAKKEJDCICIODLMEPLECAA.jim@jimthatcher.com>
Hi Al,

Certainly not. I strongly endorse skip navigation links and urge it anytime
I can.  What I tried to say is don't waste time encouraging web masters to
provide a link to linearize their pages because it just doesn't help.
Instead encourage them to do the things that do matter like alt text, a
method to skip into main content (provided in WAI case), labels on forms,
table markup, etc.

In terms of the survey, none of the sites had skip links OR navigation on
the right ... of course!

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-----Original Message-----
From: Al Gilman [mailto:asgilman@iamdigex.net]
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2002 1:13 PM
To: webwatch@yahoogroups.com; webwatch@yahoogroups.com
Cc: www-archive@w3.org
Subject: RE: [webwatch] Change Column Layout on WAI Page

At 12:52 PM 2002-04-14 , Jim Thatcher wrote:
>I don't think the question, "should this kind of thing be encouraged"
>requires a long answer. No it should not be encouraged. Absolutely not.
>Already the WAI site has placed the navigation links on the right which
>means NO skip navigation is needed. It is hard enough to convince folks to
>do things that really make a difference; time should not be wasted doing
>things that make NO difference. Having this on the WAI site is confusing
>visitors looking for best practices and expecting to find it on the WAI


Does the fact that the W3C Home page has its navigation bar on the right,
and so doesn't need a skip-navigation link, mean that we should stop talking
about skip-navigation links?

In your survey, how many sites had navigation bars that linearize after the
main content, vs. skip-navigation links?


The W3C site is not a commercial site and should not be expected to strictly
exemplify best commercial practice.  If it reflects something of an overkill
pastiche of too many techniques, all of which may be what some sites should
use, this may not be all that bad with regard to the example it sets, or the
palette of examples it offers.

The astute reader will please note that for the narrow construction of "this
kind of idea" that Jim answers in the negative, I also answered in the

I consider that "this kind of idea" includes possible server-side options to
implement what Kelly suggested in terms of having options to represent the
breadcrumb trail rolled out as discrete hyperlinks or rolled up as a list
box.  And I think it is important to raise that kind of idea, and not limit
ourselves to what current HTML and screen readers support.  In the
appropriate venue, like this one.

Jim and I are generally in flaming agreement on most of what matters in the
short term.  I get long-winded and talk "on the other hand" because I want
to share with this community some related things that I think matter over
the longer term.  And need input from y'all.



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Received on Sunday, 14 April 2002 15:25:15 UTC

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