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RE: Unordered Lists

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From: Thomas Jedenfelt
Date: Aug 12, 2005 11:12AM


Hello Jan,

Thanks for your reply.

I conclude that you find OL more user friendly as list of links than UL or DIV. I am right?

I did not know that the screen readers (you referred to) read DT, DD+DT, DD+DT.
That's very good to know.
Do you know of a Web sites that list non-graphical browsers that do not have proper Web page rendering (behaviour)?

You said:
"DIV has no semantic relevance in that sense [list of links]."
I agree. But, have you done (or, are aware of) tests that shows that list of links within DIV is easier for (certain) users to use than OL or UL?

If DIV proves to be more user friendly than OL or UL, would you agree that usability should have higher priority than semantics?

You said:
"It's not that the screen readers don't recognize a UL or a DL, rather they don't allow good navigation within them."

Then, what is your thoughts on why some of the 16 Web sites that I mentioned, choose UL and DL as list of links, rather than OL?

All the best,
Thomas Jedenfelt


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jan Eric Hellbusch" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
To: "WebAIM Discussion List" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: RE: [WebAIM] Unordered Lists
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 16:20:11 +0200

>
> Hello Thomas,
>
> > Regarding list of Links:
> >
> > Jan Eric Hellbusch says that:
> > "JAWS and some German products treat UL as soup just as they do DIV."
> >
> > What I can remember, I have read the same in some Web forums/articles.
> >
> > Then, I cannot quite understand why Web sites - that focus on Web
> > accessibility issues - use different coding techniques.
>
> This is one of the issues, where screen readers are/were faulty. Untill 4 or
> 5 years ago, there was very poor support of UL, althought it is one of the
> oldest HTML elements.
>
> It's not that the screen readers don't recognize a UL or a DL, rather they
> don't allow good navigation within them.
>
> > If links of UL, DIV and DL makes Web site Navigation more
> > difficult for some people (only JAWS?), then why do these
> > specific Web sites use them?
>
> DIV has no semantic relevance in that sense.
>
> UL and DL should. And for example JAWS does recognize the lists, but
> (examples):
>
> - two ULs following each other are treated as one element, i.e. I still
> don't know how a JAWS 5.1 user gets to the beginning of the second list
> without starting to read from the beginnung of the first list.
>
> - I have experienced screen readers (also JAWS 5.1) reading definition lists
> in validated markup as follows: DT, DD+DT, DD+DT ... i.e. the description of
> the previous term is treated as one block with the following term.
>
> It is definately a problem in JAWS 5.1 and other screen readers.
>
> And I wouldn't say it makes it more difficult to use a Web site when using
> lists, at the present point in time it just doesn't inprove accessibility
> substantially.
>
> > Can it be that they give higher priority to Technical issues
> > (their interpretation of W3C's HTML Specification on mark-up and
> > structuring content and WAI's WCAG) and/or Site Design, rather
> > than User Experience tests?
>
> I can't judge that, but they definately have a lot to do also with Office
> and especially Windows. The Web (Internet Explorer) is only one application
> of many.
>
> Regs
> Jan


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