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Re: Canvas and ARIA alternatives

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2012 23:33:02 +0100
Message-ID: <CAEhSh3dngRsuvJ5xNfJwGtKk0JpCmh64trDBijKLV+8ywQxfjA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ian Sharpe <isforums@manx.net>
Cc: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 10:38 PM, Ian Sharpe <isforums@manx.net> wrote:
> Apologies if this is obvious to others but could somebody please explain to
> me why anyone would choose to use the canvas element to handle user input
> over the designated input elements?

Maximal control over the look and feel of the input interface.

> But this just seems unnecessary to me

One man's luxury is another's necessity.

> and is only going to lead to increased complexity and reduced accessibility in
> my view.

This is a common result of the pursuit of such maximal control. (It
happens when developers build their own widgets rather than using
built-in ones on desktop platforms, for example.)

> I'm all for freedom to be creative up to a point but surely there's a time
> when somebody has to push back on the basis that if such approaches are to
> be adopted, accessibility is going to be significantly compromised.

Unfortunately, that's not generally a strong deterrent even when understood.

> As far as I was aware, one of the prime directives of  "the web" is to give
> everyone equal opportunity to access information and I feel at some point
> this goal needs to be placed front and centre if it is ever going to be
> realised.

There's little W3C can do here beyond trying to minimize damage by
working on helping developers provide semantics to back their custom
look and feel, which is exactly what those working on the web stack
(including canvas) are trying to do. (There are debates about how far
we should try to encourage techniques other than canvas versus trying
to accomodate accessibility within canvas itself, but these debates
don't affect the fundamental dynamic here.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 22:33:51 UTC

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