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[Bug 10873] Provide a method of explicitly setting a tooltip for an element

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sat, 02 Oct 2010 07:48:51 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1P1wpv-0000Nu-S8@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10873

--- Comment #6 from Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> 2010-10-02 07:48:51 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #5)
> (In reply to comment #4)
> > Would it be sufficient to add some additional requirements for @title? @title
> > displays as a tooltip in all modern graphical user agents. It would be better
> > to enhance @title than to invent a brand new feature for similar functionality,
> > in my opinion.
> 
> If @title can be enhanced to meet the requirements specified:
> 
>  1. Must be accessible in a device agnostic manner. (Ref: UAAG 4.1.1, WCAG
> 2.1.1)

Seems to me UAAG 4.1.1 already applies, since it explicitly applies to all
functionality. It would be helpful if the Implementing UAAG 2.0 draft could
give examples of how to offer access to tooltips using the keyboard. It seems
to me this is important for @title even if a new feature is also added.

http://www.w3.org/TR/2010/WD-IMPLEMENTING-UAAG20-20100617/#gl-keyboard-access

However, UAAG 4.1.1 does not strike me as "device agnostic". It specifically
requires access via the keyboard. This is surely not appropriate for devices
without a physical keyboard, for example the iPhone. iOS has been praised for
its accessibility support, through voice and touch:
<http://behindthecurtain.us/2010/06/12/my-first-week-with-the-iphone/>.
Interaction using a virtual onscreen keyboard would be much worse.

That being said, tooltips themselves do not work very well for any users on
touchscreen devices, since there is no concept of hover. So it is probably not
good for device-independence to further encourage their use.


>  2. Text must be resizeable and restyleable. (Ref: WCAG 1.4.4, UAAG 3.9.2)

Do you mean this UAAG 3.9.2?

"3.9.2 User Style Sheets: If the user has supplied one or more style sheets,
the user has the following options (Level A):
(a) select between the style sheets, or
(b) turn off the style sheets."

If the intent of that UAAG requirement is that all text anywhere in the UI must
be styleable with CSS, then it probably needs to be updated.

If that were done, then it would apply directly. However, it's not clear to me
if this requirement would be practical. Operating systems have specific
conventions on how tooltips look. Magnification is generally controlled in an
OS-wide way, and not controlled by the UA.

>  3. Duration of display must be configurable by users. (Ref: WCAG 2.2.1)

This too seems like an OS-level issue. (On the Mac, as far as I can tell the
standard is that tooltips display indefinitely until the user moves the mouse.
I am not sure if there is a requirement to configure the display duration to be
limited instead.)

> ...then it would likely be sufficient to close this bug. Do you have specific
> ideas how this could be done?

Not totally sure, but I gave some comments above. I think the challenges are
the same whether @title or @tooltip is the name of the attribute. This bug does
not appear to explain how the problems would be solved for proposed tooltip
attribute.

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Received on Saturday, 2 October 2010 07:48:53 GMT

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