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RE: Skip Nav and the <link> tag


From: julian.rickards@ndm.gov.on.ca
Date: May 11, 2004 7:23AM

There are two issues you are dealing with: the link to an id and the link
using the <link> tag. Unfortunately, neither are fully supported except by
the most current browsers, Gecko-based and Opera and possibly Safari/KHTML
although I can't test them as I am neither on a Mac, nor on Linux (KDE).

The <a name="xxx"></a> construct has been deprecated: name is now replaced
by id (in most circumstances, not in the case of forms where <input
type="text" name="firstname"> is still valid). Therefore <a href="#content">
in current browsers will jump the user to <div id="content">. This is the
first issue.

The second is the use of the <link> tags which while valid are only seeing
use and support in recent years (1 or 2 years) with Opera 7+ and Gecko
browsers. To see the links in Firefox, you need an extension which will show
you them in the status bar and allow you to link to them. In Opera, they are
displayed at the top of the document window.

Regarding accessibility, they are perfectly fine except that IE doesn't
display the <link>s and doesn't support a link to an id such as <a
href="id_name"> --> <div id="id_name">. Essentially, what you accomplish by
using these is to provide additional methods of navigating your pages and
site using valid and legal techniques but, just like the p>a child selector,
may not be supported by all browsers.

If it is important that <a href="#content"> be supported, then you need <a
name="content"></a> so that IE6 and older browsers can use it.

Julian Rickards
Digital Publications Distribution Coordinator
Publications Services Section
Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Phone: (705) 670-5608
Fax: (705) 670-5690

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sandy Clark [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 9:08 AM
> Subject: Skip Nav and the <link> tag
> I recently got a question from someone who is trying to
> figure out whether
> their parent site is using something correctly.
> <link rel="skip to content" href="#page-content" title="Jump
> to this page's
> content" /> <link rel="skip to navigation" href="#page-navigation"
> title="Jump to this page's navigation links" />
> And respectively in the body:
> <td valign="top" rowspan="2" id="page-content"></td>
> <td valign="top" id="page-navigation"></td>
> They referenced an article found here
> http://www.wats.ca/articles/extendinglinkrelationships/53
> The problem as I see it is that in some (albeit limited)
> testing, I found
> that neither Home Page Reader nor Lynx even acknowledges
> that these things
> exist. While they show up in Mozillas Site Navigation Bar I
> don't think it
> is a truly accessible situation.
> Does anyone have some comments or insights on this? I want
> to make sure I
> give people asking me questions good information.
> Thanks
> Sandy Clark