Comments on (September 2009)

W3C is tracking comments on See the April issues list.

Note on WAI-ARIA: As of 14 Sep 2009, we do not expect to use WAI-ARIA to address some of these issues. Although WAI-ARIA is designed for this, we have received commentts that it would be premature to adopt WAI-ARIA solutions at this time. That is certainly something we can adopt when the time is right.


Summary Description Status
In-page link clarity Make clearer role of in-page links. Also it was suggested they be vertical Use text prefix to clarify role. Unlikely to make vertical before deployment. Will monitor user feedback.
Display mode buttons Provide better labels to make clear functionality of display mode buttons. When Images are turned off there is nothing replacing the View button icons; there should be Alt text for these images. Turned display mode buttons into text, prefixed by "Views: "
Clear indication of current display mode (focus contrast) Need better clue of which display button is currently focused. Resolved by moving to text links
Focus rectangle big on current display mode icon When you tab to the three views buttons (print, mobile, desktop) the focus rectangle stretches all the way from the edge of the W3C logo to the button that has the focus, including any other buttons to its left. It should be only on the button that has the focus. Fixed when moved to text
Change "screen" to "desktop" for display mode button title Done.
Remove "W3C in your region" from non-home pages Done.
Remove Twitter/Identica from non-home pages Unlikely to adopt suggestion. Logos look nice!
Permalink fixes Need to only use permalinks where real permalinks. People don't like the jargon "permalink". For other headers-as-links; need a different approach. Current image looks like opens new window.Also permalink image color is insufficient contrast. Done. Three cases have been addressed:
  1. True permalinks. Suggest link (e.g., "archive") next to date.
  2. Headers that are links without expand. Will do two things (1) choose better image and alt/title and (2) remove in some cases where link already in content (or easy to put there).
  3. Headers with expanding content (and optional links too; see TR page). Will remove image and putting "more content" links at beginning of expanded content.

Another comment was addressed at the same time: The “Permalink” buttons should have unique Alt text, as in “Permalink for W3C Announced Two New Co-Chairs…”.

Current breadcrumb arrow When the breadcrumbs go over the length of a single line, the two lines overlap, and the arrow that comes from the heading banner isn't at the right place any more. Fixed.
Shadow image in CSS Move shadow to CSS since only presentational? Also suggested to include a default width (248px) for the image if it stays in the markup (since that helps with mobileoK) Plan to leave shadow image in markup (allowing it to resize, and giving people with different resolutions a similar experience)
Intro para text (font-size) too small. Bug fixed; now set to .9em
Date Contrast issue Year is written in white on green: contrast ratio is 2:1 which is not visible enough. Fixed.
When images off; year text white-on-white When Images are turned off, and using the default color scheme that has a white background, the years for events are nearly invisible, being white text on a light gray background. Fixed
Back to top links For very long pages, regular [Back to top] links would be a help - for users with limited mobility primarily. Unlikey to adopt since tools provide user interface for returning to the top. Can also use acceskeys.
High contrast switcher The site would really benefit from is a high contrast style switcher such as that found on the NCBI website ( This is a very useful feature for visually impaired visitors and relatively easy to implement. I recommend a PHP style switcher as it is not scripting dependent (so will work with JS off). Some visually impaired users may find the colour contrast of the body text to be insufficient, or experience a glare from the surrounding white space. Therefore a high colour contrast version (typically a black background, with at least 14 point text, and yellow links) would be very useful. In user testing I have done over the years, I have found it to be one of the most beneficial features of an accessible website. Unlikely to adopt. Current contrast (after bug fixes) meets WCAG 2.0. Also, operating systems provide means to do this (for all applications).
Skip link position in document order The Tab order is quite inconsistent with the visual layout. The Tab order should generally go left to right, top to bottom, except where there is a good reason to do otherwise. The current page starts with the “Skip” link on the right side, third line down, then jumps to the upper left for the W3C logo, then goes to the Search field (far right, second row down), then UP to the drop-down list of regions, then RIGHT to the Go button, then skips LEFT to the left-most view button, then RIGHT through the other enabled view buttons, then down and to the left to the Standards page tab and rightwards through them, then SKIPS RIGHT to the “Seach” button that should have been immediately after the Search box., etc. We use three tabindex values after understanding that important stops early on were: skip link, home, and search. Will check out with colleagues if this is overkill.
Tab order v visual layout "The title of the link would be more explicit if it says that this link is dedicated for people browsing with a keyboard." Also, although tabindex is set to 1, this is not sufficient for some use cases and so people would like for it to be the first link in the content. Unlikely to change. We use tabindex, which has been a standard since 1997. We might investigate an offscreen solution.
Need non-visual clue for expanding content The show/hide arrow alone is only a visual cue. Asked WAI IG. Adopted javascript + image proposal
Expand triangle too subtle The tiny triangle used to indicate expanded/contracted content is too subtle, making it both hard to tell if something is expanded or contracted and hard to see that you have the option. Plan to leave as is.
Alt text in date range (in events calendars) issue Although two title attributes are used and both the start and end dates are available, that's not obvious when hovering. Fixed by removing title. Elements include text content.
Clarify that identica and twitter are separate links? The links to Twitter and Identica are both images, with white backgrounds on a white background. The default link border has been removed with CSS. Plan to add focus highlight on hover.
Link underlining too faint I consider the style imposed for links (a thick but very light blue underline) to be too subtle and hard to see, especially on the light gray background where the contrast is very low. Changed the color and incresead the contrast ration from 1.4:1 to 1.9:1
Icons invisible when author styles overridden When overriding author-specified colors (e.g. in Firefox, turning off Tools -> Options -> Content -> Colors -> Allow pages to choose their own colors, instead of my selections above) and leaving the default white background, all icons become invisible, being white lines on the default white background. (This includes the buttons for Print, Mobile, and Desktop views are invisible, as well as icons in the list of Standards.) Firefox behavior is not as advertised. The preference refers to colors, but firefox suppresses images included via CSS. We have resolved two critical issues: the view toggle is now text-based so unaffected), and the hide/show functionality is now done through an image in content. At this time, it does not seem that there are other images critica to the sites functionality that are included via CSS.
US/North America missing in Region pulldown Interesting that neither the U.S. nor North America are not listed in “W3C By Region”; are the designers U.S.-based and consider it above such categories The reason is that that is what you get a Not sure how to communicate that. Welcome suggestions.
On activities page; nicer menu See activities page when you expand a group entry. Fixed
DIVs with titles for navigation DIV elements used to divide the page into navigational sections should have Title attributes giving them human-friendly names, so that users of assistive technology can navigate easily. We try to use headers for this purpose. Unlikely to change before deployment.
Top nav links disappear at very large text size When text size is enlarged sufficiently (in Firefox 3 or Safari 4, View -> Zoom), the links for Standards, Participate, etc. disappear altogether as the text is below the bottom edge of the div. Similarly: With a large minimum text size set the links for Standards, Participate, etc. are cut off because the size of the div containing them does not grow to accommodate their increased height. (In Firefox 3, Tools -> Options -> Content -> Fonts & Colors -> Advanced -> Minimum Font Size; in Safari 4, Edit -> Preferences -> Never use fonts smaller than -> 20.) Unfortunately, due to the structure of the page this is very difficult to address. It only appears for me after increasing font size 7 stops. This is also not an issue in mobile mode (which may be a better mode for viewing at very large text sizes).
Footer content wrap When increasing the font size (e.g. in Firefox 3, View -> Zoom) the bottom section of the page does not text-wrap to the window width. (The rest of the page does.) Fixed.

Home page

Summary Description Status
Change title of "go" button to "select a region" Unlikely to change
About w3c text size too small Fixed; now .9em
Review lang for language switches For event titles; mark up language changes. This is a tool issue and will be addressed.

Bucket page

Summary Description Status
Imported content in div elements Some imported content is not enclosed in a paragraph. We'll have to use post-processing in areas where we aggregate content.

Technical Reports

Summary Description Status
TR translator uses self-closing tags rather than end tags Will talk to Systems Team about this.

CSS Issues/Suggestions

Summary Description Status Browser
dates put on top of calendar backgrounds extend beyond the background for dates range Happens if a default minimum font size is set. Will fix. Firefox 3.5 Linux?
Make code element inline. Currently set to block. Fixed
Are mailto: URIs (properly) shown with underlines? (See address on press page). Links are not underlined in data tables (since in almost all cases they are used, it is obvious from context that this is a table of links, and having a horizontal line within a box would be a distraction). They are alsovisible on hover. In this particular table, the key piece of information was an email address, which has been added explicitly.
Ribbons 1 px 1px drop on the ribbons for the calendar/talks on homeoage advanced line 495 Fixed
Hover behavior The hover behaviour is not consistant within the content area of the page - I'm having to learn the implied meaning (and whether it was intentional or an oversight) - eg no rollover effect is a jump down the page (principles, vision), rollover effect = a link to another page. There is a rollover effect for in-page navigation. Not sure any changes required.
Font sizes in px Review use of px for font sizes to see if they are needed in advanced.css Fixed a number of instances. Also had discussion on site-comments; see summary. Result is that we currently have removed 13px and use em and % instead. As of Feb 2010, we are preferring to set a base font size over relying on user/browser default.
Left col alignment In narrow views, the text on the left under "Standards" doesn't line up ( that is, the text aligns with the left of the icon rather than with the text floats around the icon). Unlikely to fix; only a minor distraction.
Left size nav current item highlighting There was a suggestion to extend the highlighting all the way to the page (left side of content body). Tried to fix but difficult so will leave as is (since a stylistic request).

Javascript Issues

Content suggestions

These may be postponed until after the release.

Ian Jacobs, Head of W3C Communications
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