WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Rethinking "Skip to Content"


From: michael.brockington
Date: Dec 6, 2004 5:57AM

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bob [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Rethinking "Skip to Content"
> While you make logical points about the finer linguistic
> implications, I
> would not seriously consider changing the common practice.
> As the usabilty guru, Jakob Nielsen, remind us, we often find
> "standards" evolving from widespread common practice. "Skip
> ..." is one
> of those common practices. Those words have been the recommneded
> approach for several years, are taught by dozens (if not hundreds) of
> accessibility tutorials, and are embedded in the W3C's WAI and WCAG
> initiatives.

Whle you may, possibly be right about this technique, I have to disagree
strongly with your logic.
You yourself included the word "evolving" above, not "evolved". If we had
stuck to the standards, HREF's would only ever link to _other_ documents, the
#ref portion was not initially intended to allow the user to jump within a
document - this was a practice that evolved over time.
Your argument for retaining 'skip nav' is that this has been around for
literally several years - not the eons normally associated with evolution!
This has hardly been around long enough to count as a habit, and should not
preclude anyone from looking for a better solution. Indeed technology
continues to change, and all of our practices need to be continually reviewed
in that light. After all, if you read the WCAG you will see that the majority
of items begin with 'until user agents...' or similar - that is not just
fuzziness, it is meant to indicate items that conflict with the intentions of
the HTML spec, and which therefore cannot ever become standard practice.



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