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Re: why are we pursuing this idea? (was: Implementation Details request on Issue 204 Decision)

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 00:46:18 +0100
Message-ID: <CAEhSh3eht3v7aiAGN4fW0Ncunkq0S1ribxzvgzBst8ykpHKNVA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Cc: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, public-html@w3.org, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 6:21 PM, Leif Halvard Silli
<xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no> wrote:
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis, Tue, 21 Aug 2012 17:11:33 +0100:
>> On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 4:59 PM, Leif Halvard Silli:
>>> Comment: It seems safe to assume that that authors will become
>>> surprised:
>>> 1. Some will be surprised that <p hidden id=description> gets
>>>    presented to users despite the hidden attribute.
>>> 2. Others will be surprised (if they learn it at all) that
>>>    VoiceOver currently flattens *any* aria-describedby
>>>    referred content.
>> Agreed.
>> Doubtless some will also be surprised if @hidden content _is not_
>> presented. I have a suspicion this may be the smaller group. If we had
>> stuck with the original name of @irrelevant, this would have less
>> surprising.
> Well, here I strongly disagree:

You mean you disagree with my suspicion?

>   a) ARIA allows to point to hidden content and this - give and
>      take - works well.

I've only seen one attempt at doing this in the wild, and the author's
expectation was that hidden content would be excluded when referenced.
The examples provided in the Change Proposals are a mixture of the
broken (e.g. an ASCII art image is left without a defined accessible
name) and the nonsensical - and that's _after_ various other mistakes
I pointed out were corrected. So … what makes you think it "works
well", assuming that you're factoring authors getting the markup right
into the equation?

>   b) A11Y annotations very often are hidden from most users (e.g.
>      think of the content of the alt attribute). Or such things
>      as placing content off screen etc.

@alt and off-screen content are displayed to users in the
comparatively familiar cases where you have images or stylesheets off
or they don't load.

That's very different from @irrelevant.

> Thus, 1) It is hypothetical that it could be made not to work.

What do you mean? I didn't say anything about making things work, I'm
just talking about author expectations.

>       2) It does not really contradict what authors are used to.

Authors aren't used to a11y markup at all. (In my day job I interview
plenty of people employed as frontend developers who don't know the
<legend> element, who don't understand how <label> is associated with
form fields, and to whom ARIA is barely more than a rumour.)

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 23:47:06 UTC

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