[Haskell wikibook] Using XHTML Elements in the Wikibook

PR Stanley prstanley at ntlworld.com
Sat May 19 10:55:44 EDT 2007

> > I'm wondering if a small amount of HTML tagging may not be such a bad
> > idea considering the accessibility benefits.
>Could you clarify what you mean by accessibility benefits?
Certainly. I am totally blind and therefore rely 
on a screen reader for keyboard access to and 
auditory feedback from the Operating system and 
software programs.  The screen reader is designed 
to function in an environment of standard and 
some lesser known HCI design practices.  The wide 
range of functionality with which the screen 
reader is equipped enables the user to maintain 
an acceptable degree of access in most 
situations.  Java is perhaps the only exception 
in this regard but even so there are possible 
solutions albeit they fall outside the confines of this discussion.
Modern screen readers offer a wide selection of 
navigation aids for surfing the increasingly 
choppy waves of the world wide web.  the average 
screen reader interprets a web page in accordance 
to its logical structural components, namely, 
headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, form 
elements, anchor elements and so on.  The user is 
thus able to move between these components with 
the associated navigation commands provided by the screen reader.
Of course, HTML elements alone are not enough to 
guarantee the minimum acceptable degree of 
accessibility of a web page.  The screen reader 
reformats the page into a single-column document 
with each HTML element displayed in block mode. 
In certain situations it even tries to find a 
sensible label for img elements which do not have 
an alt attribute. Yet, lousy design decisions 
will continue to pose insurmountable challenges.
Fortunately, the Haskell Wikibook is for the most 
part fully navigable; however, the inclusion of 
XHTML elements would increase accessibility hugely.
I hope this answers your question. If you like to 
learn more about screen readers please visit: www.gwmicro.com

>Eric Kow                     http://www.loria.fr/~kow
>PGP Key ID: 08AC04F9         Merci de corriger mon français.

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