Re: "Cart" page with JAWS & NVDA

David Moore

Hi all!

I agree with Gene!

I never use the elements list, because it is easier for me to press the short cut key for that element right on the web site. I can figure out where the different heading levels are, so I can just start pressing the number two over and over if I know I want to see all material on the web page at the second heading level.

I look up health stuff for Traci all the time, on web sites I have never been on, and I arrow around a bit, and then start using H for heading and K for link, for example.

I have just never used the links list, in NVDA or JAWS!

David Moore


Sent from Mail for Windows 10


From: Gene
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2018 12:50 PM
To: Gene;
Subject: Re: [nvda] "Cart" page with JAWS & NVDA


One more message in this thread from me.  I wasn't going to write any more in this thread but after trying the links list again, I see more serious disadvantages of it and I think they should be addressed. 


Those interested in the topic may find useful information as well.  In addition, since NVDA volunteers create instructional material, the following may contribute to better material. 


Now, let's consider the disadvantages I spoke of. 


First, you may have to select the structure you want to look for.  Let's take the Google page for an example.  If you were on a different page the last time and were searching through links, this time, on Google, you first have to select headings as the structure you want to search through.  So we are already at two extra and completely unnecessary steps.


One, open the links list.  Two, select headings as the structure you want to use which requires shift tabbing once and down arrowing once, then tabbing back to the list.  So that is actually three completely unnecessary steps. 

Now, you down arrow through the headings.  When you find a result you want to know more about before going to the actual page the heading/link leads to, you do the following:

You have to use the move to command, alt m.  This moves you to the heading/link and you are now returned to the web page.  You now can down arrow through the information about the result or read it as you wish.  As I said you are back on the web page.  The headings list doesn't move you to the heading as you move through the list.  You have to move to the heading.  So this is yet another completely unnecessary step. 


If you just want to follow the link without looking at any additionall information, you do alt m, then enter.  Either way, you execute the alt m command, a completely unnecessary command, as I said.


So let's review.  You want to look through results on Google.  You do a search for a topic.

You open the links list.  If you used it as a links list last time, you shift tab once, down arrow once to set it to headings, tab once, and start down arrowing through the headings.  Google results are links that are shown as both headings and links.  Once you get to one you want to follow, you have to issue the command alt m, then press enter.  Or, if you want to see the additional information for the result to help you decide if you want to follow the link, its alt m then read the results.


Now, consider the alternative.

Go to Google, do a search and when the results page comes up do the following:

Type the letter h repeatedly.  That command moves you through the headings exactly as you would move if you were using the headings list but you don't have to issue an unnecessary command and take one or both hands off the main keyboard to issue the NVDA f7 command to open the list.  Nor do you do any of the other unnecessary steps I outlined above. 

All you do is type the letter h repeatedly.  When you get to a heading you want to see aditional information about, you just read the information, which is right under where you are. 

Or you just press enter to follow the link.

So do search, type h until you get to a heading that interests you, and either read the results or just press enter.  That description was very short because all those unnecessary steps were eliminated. 


Since h moves through headings exactly as the headings list does, where is the advantage to the list?

Since the letter k allows you to move from link to link without leaving the page and you move from link to link, exactly as you do in the links list, where is the advantage of the links list? 


You accused me of making a mountain out of a molehill.  Really?  When there are the kinds of important differences I've outlined?  And you accuse me of being rigid.  I have presented a factual, detailed discussion supporting my argument. 


If people want to use these lists, they may, of course, do what they want.  But because I make a strong case for what I consider to be best practices and best teaching practices, that does not make me dictatorial or rigid.  I'm not forcing anyone to do anything.  But I am presenting a detailed, reasoned argument which I consider to be very strong.


I've observed the kinds of problems a lot of blind people have using the Internet for years.  I've done a little advising and teaching.  I've seen that one of the crucially important things to teach is the importance of context, to not just open a web page and read every page from the top, nor to tab through it and that's all, but rather to work with a page in a way to accomplish what you want to accomplish.  What you do on a page may differ considerably depending on what you are doing, whether it is a familiar page or not, and what is on the page.  There may be pages where you start from the top and read some or all the page.  there may be pages where you use the find command, find something like a link and follow it.  There are pages where you might do other things.  But a lot of people do things like just tab through a page or just start reading or don't look effectively for what they want to find on a page if they know in advance what it is.  And they don't change what they do, they treat pages in the same way. 


The links list reinforces all the undesirable predispositions I've observed that I consider essential for good instruction to dispel and guard against.  Note carefully that I didn't say people shouldn't be taught the links list.  Nor did I say they shouldn't use it.  I said that people should not be taught the links list until after they have fully mastered web page navigation and how to decide how to work with a web page, depending on what kind of page it is and what they want to do on the page. If the links list is studied before that time, it reinforces all the wrong habits students may have adopted in the past or may be tempted to adopt before they have learned why they are bad habits.  The idea of the links list is sudductive.  When I first heard about it, while I was still learning page navigation, it sounded wonderful.  But as I learned, I realized how pernicious it is to teach it before the student is ready to learn it without detrimental effect.


Of course, if a student doesn't learn well using techniques and approaches I generally teach, I would use other approaches and methods.  I am discussing what I consider to be best practices for most students. 



----- Original Message -----

From: Gene

Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 5:44 PM

Subject: Re: [nvda] "Cart" page with JAWS & NVDA


It may be that I don't understand how sighted people see web pages but it is certainly different than the way a blind person encounters it. 


I don't know if I'm making a mountain out of a molehill.  And I don't think your characterization is correct about my having a tendency to do so.


I fail to see why you are so defensive and hostile on this subject.  I'm making two or three main points and your messages support them even though you are at least to an extent, arguing against them.


The thread began with you explaining a difficulty you are having with increasing numbers of web sites where a structure appears visually as one thing and to the screen-reader as something else.  You discussed how you had problems using one of the screen-reader lists to move through the cart in part because a structure appears different visually than it appears to a screen-reader and you were using the links list so the structure was not seen. 


My point is that if you don't use the links list, but use the methods I discussed, the search command, or tabbing through the cart, you won't have the problem.  and you won't have it on other sites.  Your own message argues for what I am saying.


I explained my strong view that the links list shouldn’t' be used on unfamiliar pages.

I said it detracts from effective teaching because it uses completely artificial constructs and removes the user from the page.  And I said that it shouldn't be taught until the student has thoroughly mastered navigation using the web page itself.


To this, and to my concrete examples and very specific arguments, you wrote a quarrelsome, almost attack that maybe some day it will occur to me that there are other ways of doing things than mine.  That is completely beside the point and irrelevant.  I made a very good case for my views and why I think they are by far best practices.  Attacking me and accusing me of rigidity won't win the argument.  You haven't given any specific counterexamples or arguments against what I said except that different people are different.  That has nothing to do with best practices.  If you don't generalize about best practices and try to account for exceptions that don't represent the general, how can you teach anything? 


I've done a little teaching.  If the person had problems understanding or working in the way I think is the best practice to teach, I would use other methods. 


And I didn't prescribe or say that people have to use this or that method.  I discussed using the find command, move by headings, skip blocks of links commands, and move by button.  Hardly rigid.  I'm giving different ways of movement that one may use depending on circumstances and page layout and on how you want to work with the page.  I also said specifically that if you want to know a lot about what is on a page, you may want to read some or all of the page.


I discussed the mouse because you attacked me as being rigid and dictatorial.  I didn't do so as an attack, however,  And you don't have to apologize for anything.  But it is certainly the case that a sighted person may approach something In not necessarily the best manner for a blind person to learn because of thinking of things as perceived in the sighted way.  I didn't say you generally do this.  It doesn't appear to me that you do.  And I am not discounting the value of getting sighted help when useful or important.  But my point still stands.


But based on twenty years of Internet use, thinking about what works well and what doesn't, and observing the kinds of problems many blind people have using the Internet, I dispute the amount of emphasis you seem to place on use of the mouse to get a picture of the web page. 


If you are interested, I will discuss what I consider the most effective way to give blind people an understanding of the way a sighted person sees a web page layout as compared with a blind person, using browse mode which reformats the page.  


Your tone has been increasingly hostile and dismissive.  If you want to answer, I'll give you the last word.  I've pretty much said everything I have to say and you may have a response.  I think people pretty well have decided what they think of our differences so I won't keep arguing various points.



----- Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 3:44 PM

Subject: Re: [nvda] "Cart" page with JAWS & NVDA



           No one is better at making a mountain out of a molehill than you are.

           You really need to consider "how you read," as it's clear to me that I am far from alone in my perception of your both your tone and the scope of your comments.

           As to my taking on "the sighted way" well, of course I do.  We are all the products of our sensory palettes.  I could no sooner pretend to understand what it is to be blind as a perceptual world than I could to pretend to understand what it is to be deaf, unable to taste or smell, or lacking touch or proprioception.  I am what I am, and I make no apology for that.  I also find your explanation of how you look at a webpage utterly alien to my own experience even when I'm looking at parts rather than the whole.  I tend to look at classes of objects because most webpages are presented arranged by such and, up until very recently, one could count on object types having very distinct visual presentations.  That's how most of them came to have their names, e.g, a button on screen looks like a button on a physical object (or at least it did until the recent flat look became all the rage, now it looks like a rectangle filled in by color and a label when it's done conventionally).  It is bad, bad, bad design to mask one object as though it were another.  It violates every rule in the book.

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134  

    A little kindness from person to person is better than a vast love for all humankind.

           ~ Richard Dehmel




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