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RE: Finalizing an Issue-204 CP

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 17:43:29 -0700
To: "'Cynthia Shelly'" <cyns@microsoft.com>, "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "'Janina Sajka'" <janina@rednote.net>, "'HTML Accessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Cc: "'Joshue O Connor'" <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, "'Judy Brewer'" <jbrewer@w3.org>, <david100@sympatico.ca>, "'Richard Schwerdtfeger'" <schwer@us.ibm.com>, "'James Nurthen'" <james.nurthen@oracle.com>, "'Leif Halvard Silli'" <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, "'Jonas Sicking'" <jonas@sicking.cc>
Message-ID: <02f601cd1e8e$9dabe550$d903aff0$@ca>
Re-reading the current draft, and I have *significant* issues with the following "Positive Effects":

	* Provides a simple, consistent way for UAs to hide content from sighted users while exposing it to screen reader users. This is consistent with the behavior of html input/label and aria-labeledby when those elements reference elements hidden with CSS visibility:hidden and display none.

This is not entirely true, and potentially quite confusing. Content hidden this way remains exposed *to the APIs*, but not necessarily to end users. For example, skip nav links are no longer made available to screen readers when we apply any of display:none;, visibility:hidden;, aria-hidden="true", or @hidden, and suggesting otherwise, even indirectly is simply dishonest

I would strike this entirely from the CP.


	* It has advantages over using CSS to position elements offscreen, because screen-reader users can access the text of an element without having to navigate to a separate element.

No, no, no!  This is tantamount to saying it is better than using @longdesc, and it certainly is not, not by a long shot. 

It is a useful technique under certain circumstances, as is off-screen CSS positioned content (skip nav links - which can be placed off screen with CSS, and then placed on-screen using the CSS pseudo-class of :focus) and @longdesc (and the soon to come aria-describedAt attribute). Suggesting anything otherwise is a non-starter and *extremely* prejudicial to the Issue 30 effort.

A little over a year-and-a-half ago, there was some concern (expressed by Cynthia for one) that the Issue 30 CP we were seeking to endorse was "...throwing ARIA under the bus...", and I would suggest that this statement aptly fits this alleged Positive Effect today: it is throwing @longdesc directly under the bus and must be removed immediately.

Received on Friday, 20 April 2012 00:44:11 UTC

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