[Hpr] HTML notes accessibility pointer

Mike Ray mike at raspberryvi.org
Wed Apr 6 08:28:06 PDT 2016

On 06/04/2016 16:09, Dave Morriss wrote:
> On 06/04/16 13:45, Mike Ray wrote:
>> Hello folks.
>> I just wanted to point out a little thing about how to make HTML show
>> notes more accessible to blind folks like me.
>> When you're linking to something in your notes, like the previous
>> episode in your series, please consider the method most screen-reader
>> users use to navigate between links.
>> All of the readers I have come across have a navigation key dedicated to
>> stepping through varieties of landmarks in an HTML page.  For example
>> the 'l' key to jump from link to link or the 'h' key to jump between
>> headers.
>> So, when using the keypress method of jumping from one link to the next
>> it is very poor practice to, for example, make only the word 'here' a
>> link in the middle of a sentence like 'Find the notes for episode N here'.
>> If there are multiple links on a page of that kind then repeated presses
>> of 'l' will just make the screen-reader say 'here, here, here, here,
>> here' as you go from link to link.
>> So, we then have to look at the surrounding text to identify what the
>> link is.
>> Likewise, if your notes contain the actual text 'http:// ... etc ... '
>> after words which say what it is, we just get a Web address and it's not
>> always obvious what it is.
>> Better to make the whole of the 'find episode 1 of galvanic frogs leg
>> spasm here' a hyperlink.
>> Here endeth the lesson on the third Wednesday after muck spreading.
> Thanks Mike, that's very informative.
> I use Markdown for my notes (which I process with Pandoc, which give me
> a few extra features). I generate links in the text by using references
> such as:
> 	In the [last episode][2] we looked at
> This refers to reference 2 which is defined as:
> [2]: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1986 "Introduction to sed -
> part 2"
> The result is that the hyperlink is the text "last episode" but there's
> also a title attribute of "Introduction to sed - part 2".
> I had assumed that that generated the most informative result.
> I also use what has come to be the HPR standard of making lists and a
> link section where the hyperlink is the URL itself, preceded by text
> explaining what it is.
> I'm slightly dismayed to find that this is not ideal. I even have
> scripts that generate it!
> By the way, how did you know I was planning an episode about galvanic
> frog's leg spasms?
> Dave

'Galvanic frogs leg spasm' is a phrase that appears in 'Count Zero',
book 2 of William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy.  I have just got into the
habit of using it when I need a chunk of meaningless text.

I love markdown and use the reference style links all the time.

I've also just started using 'kramdown' which is markdown plus a lovely
table syntax.  It's written in Ruby.

I used one of your sed tricks this morning...sed -ne '/^xxx/,$p'.  Very


Michael A. Ray
Witley, Surrey, South-east UK

Eyes-free Linux:

Raspberry VI:

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