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Re: J the Z on CSS transparency and Jaws

From: Bill Mason <w3c@accessibleinter.net>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 02:04:10 -0800
Message-Id: <5.2.0.9.0.20030316014828.00d76f08@accessibleinter.net>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 11:51 PM 3/15/2003, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>On Saturday, March 15, 2003, at 05:27 AM, David Woolley wrote:
>>One reason for JAWS honouring the visual behaviour, besides the fact that
>>it is a bolt on  to a visual rendering model,

This would be fine except for the further inconsistency that Zeldman 
documented later of JAWS ignoring an imported style sheet.  I would think 
it should either use what the visual browser is giving it in its entirely, 
or don't use screen media style sheets at all.
http://www.zeldman.com/daily/0203c.shtml#jawsofdefeat

>A good plan for screen readers, if possible, would be to use the idea
>of "quirks mode" as developed by a number of browsers for CSS
>rendering.  There's a "quirks mode" which preserves the bad habits
>that web developers have come accustomed to from legacy browsers,
>and a "standards" mode which does things the right way.  The switch
>is whether or not a certain doctype has been specified.
>
>I'm not sure what the switch should be for "accessible" mode, but I'm
>sure we might be able to come up with something to suggest.

The two situations aren't exact analogies, though.  Quirks mode in browsers 
typically replicates actual bugs (generally bugs in implementing the 
HTML/CSS specifications).  In this case, Zeldman's use of display:none is 
not any sort of browser bug.

So the question would be how would a screen reader decide what use of 
display:none is legitimate, and what use is not?  Or further, how do you 
decide in the first place what constitutes legitimate here?  Should a skip 
link be hidden with display:none because doing so satisfies an aesthetic 
sensibility?  Does it matter from an accessibility standpoint?

I have some serious doubts about whether a screen reader should be trying 
to decide what parts of a style sheet are OK to obey, and what parts it 
will ignore.

Bill Mason
Accessible Internet
w3c@accessibleinter.net
http://www.accessibleinter.net/ 
Received on Sunday, 16 March 2003 05:04:36 GMT

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