Thread Subject: Re: Bypassing content.
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From: Jared Smith
Date: Mon, Jun 18 2007 1:49 PM
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On 6/14/07, Hoffman, Allen < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> To be honest, I'd love for a small but visible symbol to be recognized
> as a de facto symbol for skip-to and then have it proposed as a
> standard, but that just isn't going to be in the cards. it would solve
> a lot of the push back problems with making skip navs visible, if they
> were just part of the online electronic landscape.
No, it would increase the pushback. Perhaps we could tell them what
font and colors to use while we're at it? Dictating what skip links
must look like (or any other visual element for that matter) *will*
result in resistance in the broader design community and may limit the
ability of Section 508 to be adopted outside of the areas it is
currently mandated (state government, industry, education, etc.)
The language of your proposal would result in a massive increase in
skip links - based on your language above it appears the WebAIM site
would require no fewer than 5 *additional* skip links. GMail, would
need over a dozen. A small sampling of higher education sites results
in an average of 5-7 skip navigation links. I cannot see how this
would benefit anyone.
Another point that has not been brought up is that there are future
and existing specifications that account for all of this:
* XHTML 1.1 has the role attribute that allows direct identification
of navigation and main content (among other things) -
* HTML 5 has nav, body, section, and other elements. It also has
navigation lists, navigation roles, etc. -
* WAI-ARIA currently has the menu, breadcrumb, and numerous other
roles for encapsulating navigation and widgets into a distinct,
*skippable* block - http://www.w3.org/TR/aria-role/
WAI-ARIA is already partially supported by JAWS and Window Eyes with Firefox.
If we're concerned about standards harmonization, we need to be
careful to not subvert these standards by forcing a specific coding
mechanism on authors that may be able to provide a much more friendly
and accessible method of doing the same thing.