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HTML5 implementor feedback requested - title attribute recommendations and requirements

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:57:36 +0000
Message-ID: <CA+ri+VmzSb46-vp6Gus6bkW_+zon-=Y9juBeRHBM=NS3rGj1-w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Hi Adrian, Maciej, Anne and David
(note: if there is a more approriate implementor representative this
email should go to please advise)

The HTML5 specification specifies and recommends the use of the title
attribute to mark up a variety of text content including captions for
images and short footnotes.

I am seeking your feedback as I consider that HTML5 specification
currently includes informative and normative authoring and conformance
text that relies upon non existent browsers implementations.
I filed an number of related bugs which have been closed wontfix and
consequently escalated them to issues, I have also prepared a request
to reopen on a related issue:

ISSUE-182: Advice in spec about annotations promotes inaccessible content

ISSUE-190: Replace poor coding example for figure with multiple images

re-open issue 80 (title attribute used as caption)

For the text cited in these issues to be requiring and/or recommending
use of the title attribute, it should expected that resulting content
will be available to any user via the inbuilt browser mechanisms  for
content display.

If this is not a reasonable expectation can you provide details as to
why it is not?

As implemented in browsers (including the contexts noted above), the
content contained in the title attribute is available to users of
pointing devices. It is not available to keyboard users or alternative
input devices such as single switches. It is also not available to
users of touch screen devices such as tablets and smart phones.

Given that advice in the HTML5 specification should either match
current implementations or what is expected to be implemented, can you
please provide information about when it is expected that the display
of title attribute content will be available to non pointing device
users and users of touch screen devices?

There is a non-normative implementation suggestion to provide device
independent access:

"For example, a visual user agent could make elements with a title
attribute focusable, and could make any focused element with a title
attribute show its tooltip under the element while the element has
focus. This would allow a user to tab around the document to find all
the advisory text." [1]

Do any implementors have concrete plans to implement device
independent display of title attribute content? (I asked this question
approx 9 months ago, at that time there was no commitment forthcoming

If there ARE concrete plans, do any implementors plan to employ the
implementation method suggested in HTML5? i.e. make any element with a
title attribute focusable and presumably included in the default tab

[1] http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-title-attribute-0
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Apr/0468.html
with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG

www.paciellogroup.com | www.HTML5accessibility.com |
HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives -
Web Accessibility Toolbar - www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
Received on Monday, 12 December 2011 11:55:23 UTC

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