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Re: Table accessibility (was Re: headers attribute)

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2007 22:08:20 +0200
Message-ID: <81e88fa3c53bf2f6b5189f52d770c078@10013.local>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

On 2007-06-04 19:22:19 +0200 Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
> On Jun 4, 2007, at 5:32 AM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:

>>>>    - how much is this VoiceOver's fault, and how much is it  Safari's 
>>>> fault?

>> [...] I am assuming that once something is  supported - or 
>> «given attention» - in the visual GUA (WebKit), then  the chance 
>> increases that even the AT UA can make use of it also.
> 
> That's not really the way it works. The VoiceOver team decides what  to 
> expose, and if necessary we make changes in Safari to support it  (though 
> preferrably they can do much of what they need to without  Safari changes).

There is the technological side of it, and there is the design principle/example side of it: Any AT UA team will probably want to make available to their AT users the same as what is available for GUA users - the same as the GUA take care of.

[...] 

>>> As far as I know, no one has  tried to do the  work for
>>> table header association yet. I could double- check though.
[...]
>> Does VoiceOver make use of the speech module of CSS?
> 
> VoiceOver does use different tones and speaking speeds at times, but  it does 
> not support aural CSS.
[...]
>> Now, I am of course aware of the fact that you could make  a ::headers 
>> «cell-lector» in CSS even if you do not cut the very  headers= attribute. 
>> But it does not sound as if that is your  viewpoint.
> 
> Interesting idea but I don't think it would be especially helpful to  
> VoiceOver in improving table support.

If the above was the situation today, then I think it should have helped a lot.

Aren't you surprised that nobody on the VoiceOver team jad troed to work on header association yet? Or, why would you be surprised, if the WebKit team itself doesn't see the point, if the WebKit see it only as something extra for a group with special needs? But if Safari had allready put those attributes into use, then you would have been quite surprised why not the AT team had also done that. ANd there would probably be something that the AT teeam could «hook into», technologically.

This is not about that particular idea for CSS, but about incentives. VoiceOver is a UA. As such, its team and owners must have incentives to implement those things. If WebKit supported those attributes, then that would have been one incentive for VoiceOver to support them as well. After all, usability is about equality and equal rights.

CSS has changed how we code. Availabe for styling, authors would have had incentives to use those attribtues, even when when they did not have AT in mind. (Though the «standards» community love to create healthy pages that also taste good.) 

The AT UA teams are smaller that the other UA teams. Why shall they have to read HTML4 (which is the current spec) on their own, come up with their own interpretation and make AT sense of it all alone? They need the help and energy that comes from a holistic approach. One web for all.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 4 June 2007 20:08:27 GMT

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