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RE: UDM from Brothercake for drop-down menus

for

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca
Date: Oct 16, 2005 11:20AM


Al Sparber wrote:
> Your advice is not good.

In Al Sparber's opinion.

> The original poster
> should go ahead and use the Brothercake menu and learn how it can be
> integrated into an accessible web site.

Not so long ago, Mr. Sparber appeared on an accessibility list[1] and
declared that the PVII dropdown menu was "accessible" - halleluiah - and
that users of DreamWeaver should run to his site and download the
solution for a mere $90.00 US (never mind that there are other Open
Source solutions out there...).

At that time, I took Mr. Sparber to task for alluding that using his
solution would solve developers requirements to create Section 508
and/or A, AA or AAA web sites. Nowhere in his declaration did he
mention the accessibility issues of cognitive overload and usability
concerns by presenting 40+ links off of the home page, or worse, off of
every page, by providing a flashy dropdown menu. While his company then
did go and write a "tutorial" covering this issue, it has been
marginalized or sidelined, as his recent responses appear to indicate.
(To be fair and balanced, Mr. Sparber did provide the link to the
tutorial in one of his earliest responses, it can be found at:
http://www.projectseven.com/tutorials/accessibility/pop_integrated/index
.htm)

Chrisitan's response, as well as the extensive articles associated with
his solution, is not wrong (in *my* opinion), despite Mr. Sparber's
assertions. To remind everyone of what Christian said:

<q>
I still consider a multi level popup menu not a good choice when you
want to be accessible, not because of technical issues (of which there
are a lot), but plainly because of the amount of data displayed. You
cannot give a sitemap as the navigation on every page and expect not to
make it hard for some users to navigate your site. If 80% of the
displayed/offered links are not related to the current section then they
are just dead pageweight and in the way.
</q>

Of course Mr. Sparber will argue against this - he has a $90.00 download
in the offing that would be invalidated if he did agree.

For the record, both Brothercake's and Project 7's solutions, as well as
Chrisitan's, meet technical accessibility issues (validation, separation
of content from design via CSS, etc.), so if your client absolutely
insists, take yer pick. ALL OF THE AFOREMENTIONED SOLUTIONS DO ADDRESS
ACCESSIBILITY CONCERNS AT A TECHNICAL LEVEL. But if you really want to
make your site accessible, do not negate the very real and valid points
that Christian has made:
http://www.icant.co.uk/articles/navigation/
http://www.icant.co.uk/forreview/dynamicelements/

> If I (or someone from
> Brothercake) attempted to do so on this list, a debate would likely
> rage. Your advice is confusing and your solution vague. I really
> wanted to avoid saying that on list, but I don't want to be made a
> fool of by the likes of you, either. My apologies to the list in
> advance.

No comment.

JF
--
John Foliot <EMAIL REMOVED>
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca
Phone: 1-613-482-7053


[1] As I subscribe to more than one list, and being Sunday morning and
I'm feeling lazy, I can only state that it may be this list, or
another...