[Mailman-Developers] The Philosophy of Web Use.
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Aug 3 18:31:09 CEST 2006
> Ethan wrote:
>> Can you do me a favor and let me know how these examples work
>> for you?
> Works great for able bodied mouse users.
> But how are people with mobility impairments like low dexterity
> (unable to use a pointing device like a mouse and instead must use
> keyboard or switch) able to use it? It doesn't seem to work via
You might want to check out James Edwards' (aka brothercake) latest
version of Docking boxes (dbx). It is a more keyboard accessible than
the tool-man example. James is making progress in this area.
To quote from the site :
"Docking boxes (dbx) adds animated drag 'n' drop, snap-to-grid, and
show/hide-contents functionality to any group of elements. And ... in
what might be another world-first for brothercake - dbx is fully
accessible to the keyboard as well as the mouse..."
He says in the accessibility notes :
Docking boxes can provide equal functionality to both mouse and
keyboard users, so the accessibility limitations usually associated
with drag 'n' drop controls don't apply. However the dynamic interface
is not supported in browser-based screenreaders, such as JAWS or Home
would for vanilla installs of the host browser (usually Internet
Explorer). But having content which is switchable to non-displayed
could be a major cause of confusion, in the absence of a reliable way
to notify a non-graphical UA of the change explicitly.
To try to avoid these problems, the script uses event-disparity
evaluations or repositiong routines at all; for these users the layout
should remain static, and accessible as though there were no dynamic
behaviors, just as it is for legacy or text-only browsers.
This then means that CSS properties used to hide the inner content area
- things like display:none which would normally be a total no-go -
should not be a problem here, since readers should never activate nor
cause to be activated the mechanisms which apply those rules.
So, in these and other environments where the script is not supported,
you'll get a default HTML and CSS layout with no dynamic behaviors.
This isn't necessarily an issue for things like navigation or news
boxes, where the scripting is supplementary to the core functionality.
But its use as an application interface should be restricted to
situations where browser and scripting support is predictable, or where
equivalent server-side functionality is also provided.
That last sentence is key. Restrict use of this technique to situations
1. Browser and scripting support is known (it's not for most Mailman
2. Provide equivalent server-side functionality
Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN U.S.A. 55812-3009
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