E-mail List Archives

RE: Skip Nav and the <link> tag


From: Sandy Clark
Date: May 11, 2004 10:28AM

Thanks for replying Derek.

Unfortunately, in this case, the people took your samples, applied them to
existing code an d are telling the person asking me that it is fully
accessible. It looks like a great concept for future thought, but not with
today's user agents.

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Derek Featherstone
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 10:06 AM
Subject: RE: Skip Nav and the <link> tag

Sandy Clark wrote:
> They referenced an article found here
> http://www.wats.ca/articles/extendinglinkrelationships/53

<snip />

> Does anyone have some comments or insights on this? I want to make
> sure I give people asking me questions good information.

Hi Sandy,

A few comments -- when I wrote the article, there were a few key points that
I included, and will highlight here, just for clarity to all:

1. "Many sites use invisible skip navigation links, or visible skip
navigation links to allow for users to quickly access the different content
areas of their sites. We like the functionality behind this, but would love
to see a more semantic means for indicating this relationship -- after all,
indicating the start of the content of a page, or any other sections, really
is metadata isn't it?"

2. "These items are available via Mozilla's Site Navigation bar, as well as
that of Opera. Unfortunately, this functionality isn't readily exposed in
Internet Explorer. The bookmark link definitions already exist, so this is
possible today. The only problem with this, is that it is essentially
"invisible" to users, as most don't know that site navigation bars even
exist, nor are they easy to access using keyboard navigation."

3. "Further, with a standardized set of bookmarks to indicate navigation,
content and other important sections of a document via the link element and
by Allowing Keystroke access to Link Relationships, we would allow users
quick keystroke access to these sections based on their own preferences,
eliminating the need to provide visible or hidden skip navigation links."

We are considering whether or not we will move back to visible skip links in
the next version of our site. If we do so, however, we will maintain the
semantic relationships that we have established with the <link
rel="bookmark" /> elements to provide the "best of both worlds". We use a
similar strategy within our articles on our site -- as an example, in the
article you referenced, we have defined <link rel="" /> for related articles
on the same theme, but also listed them in the body of the articles so that
they are more readily "available" to people using browsers that don't
support <link> properly.

Hope this helps to clarify. It is also important to note that some of the
code samples included in this article and other articles on our site are
code samples that show how we'd like to see things done in the future, but
can't currently use today.

Best regards,
Derek Featherstone <EMAIL REMOVED>
phone: 613.599.9784; toll-free: 1.866.932.4878 (North America)
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca Web Accessibility
Testing and Services http://www.wats.ca