W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2007

Re: ToolTips: bug or feature?

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 17:31:37 -0400
To: Maurice Carey <maurice@thymeonline.com>, HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20070730211945.M46632@hicom.net>

maurice carey asked, quote:
> Anyone know what screenreaders do when they encounter tooltips 
> in regular applications (word, excel, browser chrome) ?
unquote

most GUI screen readers offer an option to speak ToolTip, BUT:

1) most ToolTips don't last long enough to make it into the aural
event queue, or are overridden by other bubbling events 

2) getting ToolTips to expose themselves OnFocus is often 
difficult/impossible, requiring the user to route the screen-reader's 
virtual cursor to the PC cursor (which is presumably on the object 
with focus) to force the ToolTip to be exposed OnMouseOver, using the 
screen-reader's simulated pointer mechanism

3) some screen readers offer an option to auto-label graphics; in this
mode, the screen reader places the pointer in an OnMouseOver position 
on all graphical elements of the chrome, in an attempt to discern the 
tooltip text, and then create an entry for that particular graphic in 
its graphical label library...  one place where this mechanism falls 
apart is when the pressed state of an icon, or the MouseOver state 
of an icon, changes, resulting in only the labelling of the graphic 
or icon in the OnMouseOver or pressed/unpressed state...

if you are not using a GUI screen reader or GUI user agent, then you 
are out of luck, which is one of the reasons why i don't think that a 
tooltip attribute or a purely CSS solution would be of utility.  what 
would be necessary, as i've written in this thread before, is to enable 
the user to query an object at multiple levels of granularity, so one 
can obtain any quote hidden unquote data/meta-data about the object so 
demarcated, whether by ALT or by TITLE or by some other yet-to-be 
defined mechanism...

gregory.


-------------------------------------------------------------------
CYNIC, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, 
not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of 
plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.
                         -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
-------------------------------------------------------------------
          Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
UBATS - United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org/
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Monday, 30 July 2007 21:31:53 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 29 September 2014 09:38:47 UTC