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Best accessibility practice? - HTML markup to represent dates

I'm using this at present:
<p title="Publicat ion date" >[28/09/2005 15:00]</p>

Works fine on screen, but Fangs/Jaws just reads it as "left bracket
twenty-eight slash zero slash two thousand five fifteen colon zero right
bracket" Really it needs something more to indicate that it _is_ a
date.

The [...] brackets would be better done with CSS, :before and content: ,
but the boss wants it to work under IE too. The site is firmly UK
based, so d/m/y is necessary and won't be getting internationalis ed.

So, what's the best markup for representing a date, with good
accessibility to screen readers?
Sep 28 '05
52 4548
Andy Dingley wrote:
The site _will_ present visible content in the form "[21/09/2005
15:00]"
This is not my choice, it's what the dezyner called for.
You can and should explain the implications to anyone who is responsible
for the decision, instead of trying to alleviate the consequences
(especially since any achievable alleviation would be in a grotesque
disproportion to the damage caused by the decision).

Don't try to hide their mistakes. It won't help anyone.

The best you could achieve is probably title=
"The publication date is the twenty-first of September in
the year two thousand five at three o'clock PM"
and it would help only on browsers that actually make that text
available to the user, and mainly in aural presentation.

You don't want to do that. Especially since it would also disturb many
people, in addition to helping some.
However none of these
issues are even up for debate - this is the design, this is what it
_must_ look like. RFC2119 applies.


Don't be ridiculous. RFC 2119 applies to RFCs, and you know that.
Sep 29 '05 #11
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
You can and should explain the implications to anyone who is responsible
for the decision, instead of trying to alleviate the consequences


They're a paper-based magazine publisher. I'm still fighting the
"enhancemen t" to switch to pixel-sized fonts and browser-snigging to
decide on what size to use.

My "number one ultra important nothing else must be done until it's
fixed" bug at present is the fact that text sizes are slightly
different on IE and Firefox. The fact that they're also going to vary
between screens, versions, user settings etc. is still a long way from
registering. And don't mention the "right click here to save video
file" alt texts on the thumbnails. So although I might _like_ to
question the date format, it's not a practical proposition for any
earth-bound non avian-pig dependent meaning of "practical" .

Sep 29 '05 #12
"Andy Dingley" <di*****@codesm iths.com> wrote:
My "number one ultra important nothing else must be done until it's
fixed" bug at present is the fact that text sizes are slightly
different on IE and Firefox.
Have you already told them how to achieve global totalitarian dictatorship?
(It's the only way to come even close to guaranteeing that everyone sees
their text in exactly the same size. But you know this, don't you.)
And don't mention the "right click here to save video
file" alt texts on the thumbnails.
I won't, since you did.
So although I might _like_ to
question the date format, it's not a practical proposition for any
earth-bound non avian-pig dependent meaning of "practical" .


Au contraire. It seems that the only practical proposition is to tell them
that what they ask for is impossible to achieve and would be completely
wrong if it were possible. The wrongly fixed data format is apparently just
a small factor in the catastrophe, but it's still a part of it. I'm sorry
if you cannot afford to tell them all that (no need to say that they'd hire
someone else - that much is obvious).

But don't expect us to help you in wasting time in doing some pointless
cosmetic or theoretizing changes that would have at most a minuscule impact
on the (in)accessibili ty, and an impact in an unknown direction.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Sep 29 '05 #13
On Thu, 29 Sep 2005 08:02:44 +0300, in
comp.infosystem s.www.authoring.html , "Jukka K. Korpela"
<jk******@cs.tu t.fi> in <dh**********@p hys-news1.kolumbus. fi> wrote:

[snip]
The conclusion is that in practice, there are just two sensible ways of
presenting dates in HTML documents:
- use a language-dependent notation where the month is expressed using a
word, or perhaps a conventional alphabetic abbreviation, e.g. "September
28, 2005" or, if conciseness really matters, "Sep 28, 2005"
Strunk and While argue for 28 Sept 2005. Such a date does not need any
punctuation since the numbers are separated by letters. I write the
S&K version.
- use the ISO 8601 date notation, such as "2005-09-28", usually with an
explanation or pointer to an explanation of the notation; this is often
the best approach in tables, chronological lists, and multilingual material.


I like 2005-09-28 because it self sorts. But I am lazy.

[snip]

--
Matt Silberstein

Do something today about the Darfur Genocide

Genocide is news | Be A Witness
http://www.beawitness.org

"Darfur: A Genocide We can Stop"
www.darfurgenocide.org

Save Darfur.org :: Violence and Suffering in Sudan's Darfur Region
http://www.savedarfur.org/
Sep 29 '05 #14
JRS: In article <dh**********@p hys-news1.kolumbus. fi>, dated Thu, 29
Sep 2005 08:02:44, seen in news:comp.infos ystems.www.authoring.html,
Jukka K. Korpela <jk******@cs.tu t.fi> posted :
Andy Dingley wrote:
I'm using this at present:
<p title="Publicat ion date" >[28/09/2005 15:00]</p>
Such a date notation is alienating to more than half of mankind,


If you mean the half that includes the Chinese, I doubt whether they are
that intolerant. AIUI, unlike others, they no longer consider all
outsiders to be *unspeakable* barbarians; I think they'd just sigh at
the backwardness of the West.
Surely people in the United Kingdom understand the notation
September 28, 2005, and understand it unambiguously?
Yes, but there's no need to use a notation tainted by Americanism on a
British site, where 28th September 2005 / 28 Sept 2005 would be natural
and comprehensible even by visitors from elsewhere.

<div>Publish ed in September 28, 2005.</div>


<div>Publishe d on 28th September 2005.</div> // "on" is not needed

Putting I & O adjacent on the keyboard was NOT a good idea.

--
© John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon. co.uk Turnpike v4.00 IE 4 ©
<URL:http://www.jibbering.c om/faq/> JL/RC: FAQ of news:comp.lang. javascript
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/js-index.htm> jscr maths, dates, sources.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/> TP/BP/Delphi/jscr/&c, FAQ items, links.
Sep 30 '05 #15
JRS: In article <dh**********@p hys-news1.kolumbus. fi>, dated Thu, 29
Sep 2005 15:39:19, seen in news:comp.infos ystems.www.authoring.html,
Jukka K. Korpela <jk******@cs.tu t.fi> posted :
The best you could achieve is probably title=
"The publication date is the twenty-first of September in
the year two thousand five at three o'clock PM"


FYI, in proper English we don't generally use the abbreviations AM & PM
in conjunction with the time in words; and we don't ever write the year
like that either; and using o'clock is uncommon unless necessary to
indicate time.

"Published on the twenty-first of September two thousand and five at
three in the afternoon"

"Published on the twenty-first of September two thousand and five at 3
PM"

"Published on 21st September 2005 at 3 PM"
You can no doubt read English perfectly; but you sometimes write it,
albeit grammatically, with a slight foreign accent!

--
© John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon. co.uk Turnpike v4.00 MIME. ©
Web <URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/> - w. FAQish topics, links, acronyms
PAS EXE etc : <URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/programs/> - see 00index.htm
Dates - miscdate.htm moredate.htm js-dates.htm pas-time.htm critdate.htm etc.
Sep 30 '05 #16
Dr John Stockton wrote:
You can no doubt read English perfectly; but you sometimes write it,
albeit grammatically, with a slight foreign accent!


We should also be succenct, as in:

<Though you seem to read perfectly and write grammatically, you
sometimes write with a foreign accent!>

For the modern reader, words like 'albeit' instead of 'though' add two
syllables and the white noise of a less familiar word. Here it leads
to the nested structure of an adverbial clause. You get information
across better when you don't ask the reader to push clauses onto their
mental stack for later retrieval.

The clause is short -- no big problem here. But it does sound old
fashioned and too formal for a newsgroup.

(Oim sorry, Gov., just coun't 'elp meself.)
;)
--
mbstevens
http://www.mbstevens.com

Sep 30 '05 #17
mbstevens wrote:
Dr John Stockton wrote:
You can no doubt read English perfectly; but you sometimes write it,
albeit grammatically, with a slight foreign accent!
We should also be succenct ..........


Succinct, maybe?
(Oim sorry, Gov., just coun't 'elp meself.)


Me neither. :-)

--
James Pickering
http://jp29.org/

Sep 30 '05 #18
James Pickering wrote:
mbstevens wrote:
Dr John Stockton wrote:

You can no doubt read English perfectly; but you sometimes write it,
albeit grammatically, with a slight foreign accent!


We should also be succenct ..........

Succinct, maybe?

(Oim sorry, Gov., just coun't 'elp meself.)

Me neither. :-)

Got me, you silver tongued dev... dev.... How DO you spell that.
:)
Sep 30 '05 #19
JRS: In article <vi************ *************** *****@4ax.com>, dated
Thu, 29 Sep 2005 23:38:54, seen in news:comp.infos ystems.www.authoring.h
tml, Matt Silberstein <Re************ **************@ ix.netcom.com>
posted :

Strunk and While argue for 28 Sept 2005. Such a date does not need any
punctuation since the numbers are separated by letters. I write the
S&K version.


They are alien writers, devoid of authority in the questioner's
locality. There's something unreasonable about indicating the ninth
month by a word which, unlike Sep & September, actually means seven in
at least one well-known language.

--
© John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon. co.uk Turnpike v4.00 MIME. ©
Web <URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/> - w. FAQish topics, links, acronyms
PAS EXE etc : <URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/programs/> - see 00index.htm
Dates - miscdate.htm moredate.htm js-dates.htm pas-time.htm critdate.htm etc.
Sep 30 '05 #20

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