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Re: aside and figure elements

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2010 11:05:23 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTin2vRuwwVB8s6IhaiYmIDAylP2PxLWC7d41ji0f@mail.gmail.com>
To: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Hi Shelley,

Steve wrote:

>> # when a figure has a <figcaption> the content of the <figcaption>
>> should act as the accessible name for the image(s) inside the <figure>
>> if the image(s) do not have a text alternative provided using the alt
>> attribute.

Shelley wrote:

> Disagree, 100%.
>
> The figure element can have a dozen images, two tables, a code block or
> two, paragraphs, and div elements. The figcaption names all of this, not
> just the img element (s).
>
> The alt attribute must be provided regardless of figcaption, as figure
> is defined now.

Good catch Shelley. Okay, how about restricting it to:

When a figure has an image as sole content use a  <figcaption> as the
accessible name for the image. But in scenarios of multiple images in
a figure element alt rules apply.

Thoughts?

Thanks.

Best Regards,
Laura


On 6/7/10, Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net> wrote:
> Steven Faulkner wrote:
>> hi laura,
>> we haven't discussed the <figure> element.
>>
>> my take on the figure element is that the
>> # <figure> should be mapped to accessibility APIs as a grouping
>> element like <p> or <div>
>>
>
> There's a couple of issues with this.
>
> For one, there's an assertion in the HTML5 specification that the figure
> element can be moved to another location, and there's an implied
> connection between the material. A second assertion in the
> counter-proposal gives the impression that figure elements can be
> "skipped" and returned to later.
>
> Both are expectations that don't map to a normal grouping element, such
> as div or p. In addition, if the figcaption element is not supplied, how
> would we differentiate between figure and div and p? Or I should say,
> how would UAs differentiate?
>> # decorative images should not be allowed as content of a <figure>
>> element as the HTML5 semantics imply that the content of the figure
>> should be meaningful, so no <img alt="">
>>
>
> Agree, 100%.
>> # when a figure has a <figcaption> the content of the <figcaption>
>> should act as the accessible name for the image(s) inside the <figure>
>> if the image(s) do not have a text alternative provided using the alt
>> attribute.
>>
> Disagree, 100%.
>
> The figure element can have a dozen images, two tables, a code block or
> two, paragraphs, and div elements. The figcaption names all of this, not
> just the img element (s).
>
> The alt attribute must be provided regardless of figcaption, as figure
> is defined now.
>
>
>> #if the image(s) inside the figure have alt then the <figcaption>
>> content could act as the accessible description unless for example the
>> figcaption is referenced by an aria labelledby on an img:
>>
>> In this case the accessible name is "Dog on a bike. Chester can ride
>> without using his paws."
>>
>> <figure>
>> <img id="img1" alt="dog on a bike." aria-labelledby="img1 cap">
>> <figcaption id="cap"> Chester can ride without using his
>> paws.</figcaption>
>> </figure>
>>
>> In this case the accessible name is "Dog on a bike." and the
>> accessible description is "Chester can ride without using his paws."
>>
>>
>
> Again, though, considering the fact that the figure element can contain
> any number and types of elements, I don't think you can imply anything
> about a direct figcaption to img association.
>
> I think each img element just has to live on its own, as if the
> figcaption didn't exist.  Unless, as you say, the aria-labelledby
> attribute provides a more granular definition of the association between
> the two.
>
>> <figure>
>> <img id="img1" alt="dog on a bike." aria-labelledby="img1 cap">
>> <figcaption id="cap"> Chester can ride without using his
>> paws.</figcaption>
>> </figure>
>>
>> In this case the accessible name is "Chester can ride without using
>> his paws." which I think is an unsatisfactory text alternative as it
>> does not provide adequate information about what is depicted visually
>> in the image.
>>
>> <figure>
>> <img >
>> <figcaption >Chester can ride without using his paws.</figcaption>
>> </figure>
>>
>> while this would be better, but it is still currently problematic from
>> a practical point of view as no browsers or AT provide the
>> programmatic mapping between the <figcaption> and the img. So the
>> accessible name provided through an accessibility API is ""
>>
>>
> And technically, can't. Not with the current figure definition.
>> <figure>
>> <img >
>> <figcaption>Chester the dog riding a bike without using his
>> paws.</figcaption>
>> </figure>
>>
>> Using aria-labelledby is better in this case because for users of
>> AT/browsers that support aria-labelledby the programmatic association
>> will be provided,
>> <figure>
>> <img aria-labelledby="cap">
>> <figcaption id="cap">Chester the dog riding a bike without using his
>> paws.</figcaption>
>> </figure>
>>
>> but again aria-labelledby is only supported by a subset of browsers/AT
>> so the safest bet is to provide an adequate accessible name using alt
>> attribute.
>>
>>
>
> Agree, 100%.
>
>> <figure>
>> <img aria-describedby="cap" alt="dog on a bike">
>> <figcaption id="cap">Chester the dog riding a bike without using his
>> paws.</figcaption>
>> </figure>
>>
>> regards
>> steve
>>
>>
>
> Shelley
>
>> On 6 June 2010 20:21, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi Shelley,
>>>
>>>
>>>> I'm not sure how the accessibility API mapping would work, though I've
>>>> seen the spec that provides User Agent instructions. However, from a
>>>> ARIA to element mapping perspective, I'm not sure how figure and aside
>>>> would map.
>>>>
>>> There is an ARIA mapping subgroup in the accessibility task force. I
>>> think Steve heading that group.
>>>
>>> Steve, has the ARIA mapping group discussed the aside or figure elements?
>>>
>>> Thanks.
>>>
>>> Best Regards,
>>> Laura
>>>
>>> On 6/6/10, Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Laura Carlson wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Hi John,
>>>>>
>>>>> Shelley wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>> I appreciate her effort, but I believe that Sam has shut down the
>>>>>>> discussion, which is a co-chair prerogative. I'm waiting resolution
>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>> several change proposals before I determine my next steps.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>> John wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> I don't think the chairs (Sam) has shut down any discussion at all -
>>>>>> he
>>>>>> has
>>>>>> clearly given all a 'next-steps' roadmap that actually has two options
>>>>>> -
>>>>>> file bug reports with specific actionable items, as well as leaving
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> door
>>>>>> open to a Formal Objection (with an apparent preference for bug
>>>>>> reports
>>>>>> first).
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks. I hope people have the time and the wisdom to do what is best.
>>>>>
>>>>> Creating elements that are inherently accessible, that provide
>>>>> accessibility from the get-go, with no additional work by the author
>>>>> is could be a win for accessibility. A mechanism to provide a native
>>>>> aside element ala the WAI-ARIA "complimentary" landmark role is a good
>>>>> idea. It could be applied to an area containing associated content.
>>>>>
>>>>> In the counter change proposal it says that the aside element
>>>>> "expresses this semantic directly in the markup, allowing other types
>>>>> of UAs to give their users similar ability to skip over irrelevant
>>>>> content and return to it at their leisure".
>>>>>
>>>>> Do you think HTML5 specifies how devices are to interact with aside
>>>>> and skip the content clearly enough? Do you see any flaws in the
>>>>> specification of the aside element?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> Not part of the group, but I wanted to respond to this question, and
>>>> also explain why I said neither is accessible. Thanks for cc'ing me on
>>>> the email, Laura.
>>>>
>>>> Some time back when we were discussing all of the new elements, I made a
>>>> statement that so many new elements are going to be a burden on AT
>>>> devices, too. At that time, one of the group members stated that rather
>>>> than AT devices having to learn the new elements, such as "figure" and
>>>> "aside", each would be mapped to the existing accessibility API by the
>>>> browser companies, so they would be accessible "out of the box".
>>>>
>>>> This made a lot of sense to me, and is the reason I didn't include the
>>>> elements being an additional burden on AT devices as an objection to
>>>> figure and aside.
>>>>
>>>> However, seems to me for this to work, this accessibility mapping needs
>>>> to be stated. Otherwise, each browser vendor could map the elements
>>>> differently. Now, perhaps another spec is the place, but I would think
>>>> that the HTML5 spec would be the better place, since it is the spec that
>>>> originated the elements.
>>>>
>>>> I'm not sure how the accessibility API mapping would work, though I've
>>>> seen the spec that provides User Agent instructions. However, from a
>>>> ARIA to element mapping perspective, I'm not sure how figure and aside
>>>> would map. For instance, if aside is treated as a typographical sidebar
>>>> or note, there is an ARIA role of note that fits this use. However, if
>>>> aside is treated as a web page sidebar, the more appropriate role is
>>>> complementary. The two are not the same in ARIA, so we have to assume
>>>> the two are not the same in the accessibility API, either.
>>>>
>>>> So, in my opinion, I don't believe aside, as currently defined in the
>>>> HTML5 spec, is accessible. I'm not an accessibility expert, though.
>>>> Perhaps the experts don't see this as a problem.
>>>>
>>>> Figure is another issue, as you have also noted. If figure really were
>>>> captioning for a graphic, I think there could be a clean accessibility
>>>> mapping, but because figure can include most anything, you start to have
>>>> some interesting issues.
>>>>
>>>> And figures really aren't meant to be 'skipped' typographically. They're
>>>> actually an important part of the content, but are managed differently
>>>> because larger images may not fit well where they are needed within
>>>> printed material. When people say, "See Figure ..." they really mean for
>>>> folks to look at that figure -- it's complementary to the text. It
>>>> clarifies and expands on the text. It's never meant to be skipped.
>>>>
>>>> I'm not sure how figure got redefined to something that can be skipped.
>>>>  From an accessibility perspective, though, if it's managed as something
>>>> that can be easily skipped, those needing this functionality may end up
>>>> with a less than ideal experience. They may actually _lose_ important
>>>> information.
>>>>
>>>> In my read of the HTML5 spec, I don't see anything addressing these
>>>> issues. I imagine this could be covered in another spec, but there's
>>>> nothing detailing this, or providing a plan.
>>>>
>>>> Anyway, your questions are good. I failed to get the elements removed,
>>>> and am concerned that this failure then meant that these elements were
>>>> not going to be 'cleaned up'. I should have provided an alternative
>>>> change proposal--keep the elements and redefine and clean them up--but I
>>>> genuinely believe the ARIA approach to be the better one, and couldn't
>>>> support an alternative I felt to be inferior.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Do you (or anyone else) see any ways in which the aside element should
>>>>> be improved in HTML5? Or do you consider it okay as is?
>>>>>
>>>>> In regards to the figure/figcaption elements, there is no doubt that a
>>>>> mechanism to explicitly provide a caption for an image is a good idea.
>>>>>
>>>>> Do you think that the figure/figcaption elements are specified
>>>>> correctly?
>>>>>
>>>>> The majority of style guides disallow tables as content for a figure.
>>>>> But HTML5 does not. It allows any flow content in the figure element
>>>>> not just images. Do you think this present any problems?
>>>>>
>>>>> Do you anticipate nesting a table into figure causing any problems?
>>>>>
>>>>> Do you see any issues existing with a figcaption + table caption
>>>>> scenario? A table caption is read by JAWS. Do you foresee a figcaption
>>>>> to be read in the same way? When a table  element is the only content
>>>>> in a figure  element other than the figcaption, the spec says that the
>>>>> caption element should be omitted in favor of the figcaption do you
>>>>> think this is speced correctly?
>>>>>
>>>>> Do you think that multiple tables in a figure element would be read
>>>>> correctly? It seems that they should linearize, do you think would
>>>>> that they would?
>>>>>
>>>>> The spec does not define how the figure is associated with the
>>>>> original content. The counter proposal states,
>>>>>
>>>>> "Users interacting visually with the article can easily skip past this
>>>>> content temporarily and avoid interrupting their reading of the main
>>>>> article, and then return to the content to understand it when they
>>>>> feel comfortable. Expressing this semantic directly in markup allows
>>>>> alternative UAs to present their users with the same ability, thus
>>>>> improving Accessibility."
>>>>>
>>>>> The spec does not say devices should have the ability to skip over the
>>>>> figures, and return later, do you think that would be useful? The
>>>>> figure element could be located outside of an article; it could be
>>>>> located in another part of the web page, even another web page. It is
>>>>> not specified how a connection between this physically separated
>>>>> element is relate back to the original article element. Do you think
>>>>> that the spec should specify how this is to be accomplished or
>>>>> anything in this regards?
>>>>>
>>>>> Do you (or anyone else) see any ways in which the figure element
>>>>> should be improved in HTML5? Or do you consider the element okay as
>>>>> is?
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks.
>>>>>
>>>>> Kindest regards,
>>>>> Laura
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> Shelley
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> --
>>> Laura L. Carlson


-- 
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Monday, 7 June 2010 16:06:01 GMT

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