Chapter: Internet & World Wide Web HOW TO PROGRAM - Web Accessibility

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Accessibility in XHTML Frames

Web designers often use frames to display more than one XHTML file in a single browser window.

Accessibility in XHTML Frames

 

Web designers often use frames to display more than one XHTML file in a single browser window. Frames are a convenient way to ensure that certain content always displays on the screen. Unfortunately, frames often lack proper descriptions, which prevents users with text-based browsers, or users listening with speech synthesizers, from navigating the Web site.

 

A site with frames must have meaningful descriptions in the <title> tag for each frame. Examples of good titles include “Navigation Frame” and “Main Content Frame.” Users with text-based browsers, such as Lynx, must choose which frame they want to open; descriptive titles make this choice simpler. However, assigning titles to frames does not solve all the navigation problems associated with frames. The <noframes> tag allows Web designers to offer alternative content for browsers that do not support frames.

WCAG 1.0 suggests using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) as an alternative to frames, because CSS can provide similar functionality and are highly customizible. Unfortunately, the ability to display multiple XHTML documents in a single browser window requires the complete support of HTML 4, which is not widespread. However, the second generation of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS2) can display a single document as if it were several docu-ments. However, CSS2 is not yet fully supported by many user agents.


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