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Re: @title's relation to accessibility

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 06:01:02 +0200
Message-Id: <p06240678c3028116ad2a@[]>
To: public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org

At 17:00 +0100 UTC, on 2007-09-03, Steve Faulkner wrote:

[... in some specific accessibility situations, @title can be beneficiary.]

> Authors do regularly take into account and code for inconsistencies between
>user agents, should they have to probably not.

Indeed they should not.


> Example: informing a user that activating a link opens in a new window.
> if this advice is in the title attribute on a link, no "keyboard only"
>users and many assistive tech users will not be able to access this info.

Strongly disagreed. The author cannot even know if the UA even has a concept
of "window", let alone of "new window". Authors should not mess with such
things. It's up to UAs that support concepts of "link opens in new window",
to convey such to the user (and allow them to override always or per case).

>>If users care, they should bug their favourite browser vendor
>>about it.
> I don't think it is users that bug browser vendors to fix bugs, it is
>usually informed developers.

Well, when I ask browser vendor x to allow me to see not just download but
also upload speed/status, I am a user. My author experience may make it a
little easier to communicate with a programmer, but that's all.

> most users don't know or understand what the title attribute is nor should

Enough authors do know, and they're users too. Other users are indeed
unlikely to come up with such feature requests, but indirectly, at least some
part of it will come to UA developers through authors who are users (not to
mention UA developers who are users ;)).

Still a user who knows nothing about HTML whatsoever, and is confused/annoyed
by some links just opening new windows, can bug his favourite UA vendor about
that. A capable UA vendor will understand tat that user would be helped by an
indicator on links that target new windows and/or an option (whether default
or not) to override such window creation.

> and for users who cannot access the information contained within the
>title, how are they to know there is something there (that they cannot hear
>or see) for them to complain to the vendors about?


In the end though, that applies to everything in the world. If you don't know
what you're missing, you won't ask for it. But even when you know not what
the exact problem is or how to solve it, you can *sense* that something isn't
working as it should. (If you don't, then apparently you have no problem.)
Once you sense that, you can start to investigate; learn what it is you are
missing, and how it might be solved.

That doesn't mean everybody has to learn HTML. Just the notion "this system
doesn't suit me; I'm going to ask/look around to see if there is perhaps
another system that does" can already result in solving your problem. (I'll
grant you though, that for many users it'll be just as likely that they'll
think "The Internet doesn't suit me; I'm going to ask/look around for an
alternative". (They might end up at the local library and be perfectly happy

People are free to not try to solve their problems of course. I don't mean to
say they have to. I'm just saying that just because you choose not to doesn't
automatically mean I have to do it for you.

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Tuesday, 4 September 2007 04:03:16 UTC

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