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Keyword title-attribute report (was Re: 24 August 2006 Agenda)

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 13:58:42 -0400
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB5130FA5CF@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

So much agreement!  Yet so much discussion!

All three of comments specifically tagged with keyword title-attribute did so in the context of link text.  All three commenters were in favor of removing the use of title attribute values as sufficient to meet SC 2.4.4.

I think that is a little draconian.  I think the use of title on ambiguous link text is an excellent example of how the supplemental information is valuable to everyone, but of particular utility to users of AT.

Joe Clark writes "a title attribute absolutely is a text equivalent" but he was arguing that title is not an acceptable substitute for proper alt.  (We decided to add a failure technique to clarify that.)

Johannes Kochs cites H65 but this and all the other hits on <q>title attribute</q> are not relevant to the keyword report.  (Jim Thatcher's comment comes up as a hit because "the issue here is not about the title attributes" for example!)

We have Level 2 SC 2.4.3, "Web Units have titles."  Is anyone opposed to this use of title?

Support for the title attribute on links is nascent but promising.  It is premature and counterproductive IMHO to dismiss the technique.

I am, however, quite suspicious regarding reliance on the title attribute for form elements.  But I can live with it as a sufficient technique.  I have asked our in-house WindowEyes expert to look into your question on the behavior of title in the absence of label.

I think it would be most productive to constrain this thread to title on link text.  That dialog will inform other decisions.

It seems to me that the current behavior limitation with AT can be readily addressed.  Users could pick the settings for pop-up text so it would be readable.  Pop-up title text could be revealed automatically when a text link had keyboard focus.  Screen reading software could generate a subtle auditory cue to indicate the presence of availability of supplemental information, which would be read at the press of a keystroke.  I stand by my concluding remarks in the report.

Clarifying that the technique is not supported on a variety of assistive technology seems non controversial.

My recommendation is to leave the SC and associated techniques as they are and not adjust any Levels associated with them.  We should add information about the current implementation limitations associated with many UA combinations.

Received on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 17:59:31 UTC

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