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Re: Change proposal for ISSUE-85

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 10:22:29 +0300
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <9E26F350-5E2D-4C48-AFF8-7DBC27DA43D7@iki.fi>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
On Jun 16, 2010, at 08:46, Jonas Sicking wrote:

> One thing that would be good to get clarified is how a UA is supposed
> to handle <a role=button>.
[...]
> I think a good argument could be made that if someone has gone through
> the trouble to add 'role=button' to an element, then that is likely
> the most accurate role. Thus I think a reasonable argument could be
> made that we should forward this information to AT users.

Indeed. I think <a role=button> should be reported to accessibility APIs as a button.

This is tied to the stylability of <a>. If <a> can be styled to look like a button, there should be a mechanism for reporting it as a button via AT, too.

Furthermore, if styling it as a button is not a machine-checkable conformance error, reporting it to AT as a button should not be a machine-checkable conformance error, either, because flagging the AT side but not the visual side as conforming would likely more often have a negative effect than have the positive effect of authors replacing <a> with <button> or <input type=button>. The particular negative effects I can foresee are either making the Web application less accessible (by omitting role altogether) or making things more complex by adding role via JS.

On the other hand, I think http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=9871 should be WONTFIXed unless addEventListener is made not to have an effect on <a>, but doing that would probably Break the Web.

To cast the above as objections: I object to Hixie's no-change proposal to ISSUE 85 and I object to fixing bugs 9871 and 9872.

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivonen@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Received on Wednesday, 16 June 2010 07:23:35 UTC

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