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Re: frames titling


From: Terence de Giere
Date: May 21, 2003 7:56AM

Lori --

I don't have any screen readers currently installed, but here is some
information regarding IBM Home Page Reader (version 3.022) and the Lynx
text browser (Windows port version 2.8.4 preview 5).


When the frameset is loaded IBM HPR speaks "frame one of {number of
frames}, and then reads the TITLE element of page in the first frame in
the code of the frameset page. The user can Control Tab to the other
frames where it reads the number of the frame in the sequence and the
TITLE of each page. IBM HPR just sequentially numbers the frames in a
frameset and does not extract any useful naming information except the
TITLE element for the page in each frame, and it is necessary to be in
that frame to hear the TITLE.


The Lynx browser displays the first 44 characters of the TITLE element
of the frameset page and displays the frames as links using the name
attribute (not the title attribute) as the link text. When the user
chooses one of the links, the page in that frame is displayed starting
with the first 44 characters of the page TITLE element. The user must
navigate back to the frameset page to access links to the other frames
that might be in the frameset. If a user were using Lynx with a screen
reader, this is what they would hear.


Neither of these browsers accessed the title attribute of the frames in
the frameset page. As I recall there are some other older technologies
that will render the name attribute of a frame, so for general usability
and accessibility with backward compatibility with assistive technology,
the frame name attribute should also resemble that of the frame title
attribute, e.g., "main_navigation" rather than computer code like
"frame_01". The name attribute may not have any spaces in it, but
underscores may be used. The NOFRAMES element can allow access to
content without frame support, for example, for a text-based PDA or cell
phone. The page TITLE element for the individual pages in frames such as
navigation pages, or static logos, and the main content should be clear.

Now, because screen readers being used with Internet Explorer will be
the largest user base, let's wait and see what the users who have screen
readers installed have to say.

Terence de Giere

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