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Re: Accessible pagination


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Jun 20, 2009 1:35PM

Dean Hamack wrote:

> Something I've been thinking about for a while is the best way to do
> pagination.

What do you mean by "pagination"? Normally it refers to how a document is
divided into pieces of paper called "pages" on printing. It seems that might
be referring to division of material into HTML documents called "pages" (web
pages). In either case, what might be the accessibility issue?

> I'm currently working on a wordpress site that will need
> to use it, and I found a plugin which outputs pagination like so:
> <span class="pages">Page 2 of 3</span>
> <a href="page1.htm">prev page</a>
> <a href="page1.htm" class="page" title="1">1</a>
> <span class="current">2</span>
> <a href="page3.htm" class="page" title="3">3</a>
> <a href="page3.htm">next page</a>

It seems that you might be referring to a specific detail in implementing
division of material into web pages, namely how to link the pages together.
This in turn is a rather wide issues, with the sub-issue how to set up links
to other pages in an assumed situation where pages form a linear sequence
and you would like to make every page link to every other page.

That's a rather questionable assumption, but before going further (this
topic would really almost deserve a book on it, though nobody wants to
publish a book on accessibility issues as they just don't sell, so I won't
write one), I think we need to know whether you link texts would _really_ be
"1", "2", etc. - and why they would.

> It also throws in a "first page" and "last page" when there are more
> than 10 pages.

This suggests that the pages are dynamically generated pages that are
results from some search operations, or something like that. In such
situations, numbers might really be the best link texts. But linking to all
other result pages, or to several other result pages, would be overlinking
and not accessible at all. When you check result pages, you almost always
check them in sequence, so the only link you really need in this context is
the "next" page, and it should probably be named "next" (in the applicable
language). Specifically, the common approach (used e.g. by Google) of
constructs like
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next
is wrong, as it puts the most important link last, after a sequence of
rather pointless links.

If my guess about the situation is roughly right, I'd suggest my treatise on
the topic of accessibility of search or query result presentation:

> So my question is, do you think that is sufficient to be accessible?

There is no such thing as being sufficiently accessible.

Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/