W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > August 2011

[Bug 13630] Better method for user-friendly help or hints

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:09:43 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1QpfhH-0003Jg-Ps@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13630

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com> changed:

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--- Comment #2 from Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com> 2011-08-06 12:09:43 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #0)
> HTML5 may need a better way to associate user-friendly help or hints with
> elements.
> 
> There are cases where help text or hints should be available to any user, but
> are not appropriate to present by default to the average user. 

What cases? What do you mean by "by default".

> In some cases
> (e.g. the pattern attribute) the spec says that the title attribute should be
> used for this purpose, but the Accessibility Task Force doesn't believe the
> title attribute should be overloaded in this way.

Why?

> Instead, a new global
> attribute called hint or helptext should be created for this purpose

The name makes it sound like a text that should be available to any user.

> , or a
> method analogous to the label element could allow identifying content as the
> help or hint for a specified element.

How would that differ from "aria-describedby"?

> Issue: How would this be presented to the user? If an element has a title and
> helptext, do we really want users to have to have two separate mechanisms for
> getting access to hint and helptext, perhaps two different hotkeys and two
> different shortcut menu items? This suggests that there's good reason to leave
> it mingled in with the content of the title attribute. On the other hand,
> browsers already handle title badly, and it's hard to say whether it would be
> worse to encourage long title text that some browsers will truncate or to have
> another thing like title text that they may not handle at all.

If implementors are not implementing display of long "title" text, why do you
think they would do the same thing for a whole new attribute?

> Issue: Should this be an attribute, and thus limited to a simple text string,
> or might it be better to define a mechanism that allowed identifying a separate
> block of content as help for another element, analogous to how the details or
> label elements already work? That would allow rich, styled content for the
> help. It would certainly require new UI for displaying and hiding, but that
> might be no worse than if we merely define a new hint attribute.

I think this would be better.

Typically, help is given for controls. Can you give an example where some
combination of "label", "details", and "aria-describedby" would not already
address this use-case?

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Received on Saturday, 6 August 2011 12:09:44 GMT

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