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RE: HTML5 DL Element vs. WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

From: Steve Green <steve.green@testpartners.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2014 19:11:13 +0000
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <4c204983f99a42f7a627a6a82c3a1b11@THHSTE15D1BE4.hs20.net>
I don't think we should talk in terms of a 'correct' course of action, not least because we will never agree on one.

I think it is more valuable for people to understand what they will gain and lose by taking the different approaches, and let each person decide for themselves in their particular circumstances.

My view is that definition lists benefit absolutely no one. They are poorly supported by assistive technologies, rarely understood by users of ATs and are not used by any other user group that I am aware of. Nor are they accessed programmatically by any tools or services that I am aware of.

By contrast, data tables are well supported by ATs, and simple data tables are well understood by users of ATs.

Some might argue that using so-called 'correct' semantics will somehow encourage AT vendors to improve their products at some indeterminate point in the future, but the cost is an impaired user experience for some people right now. That's not a trade-off I would be willing to make in this particular case (or many other cases). It may even result in a loss of revenue or reputation for the website owner, which is fine if it's your own website but not fine if it's someone else's.

Steve Green

From: Steve Faulkner [mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com]
Sent: 07 February 2014 18:33
To: Jan Heck
Cc: Jan Eric Hellbusch; WAI Interest Group
Subject: Re: HTML5 DL Element vs. WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

Hi Jan,

do we continue to use the correct element and let the
screen reader makers know about the issues?

In this case I think this is the correct course of action, definition lists have been in HTML since 1997 [1]

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html32.html#dl



HTML 5.1<http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>

On 7 February 2014 18:20, Jan Heck <jan@id4theweb.com<mailto:jan@id4theweb.com>> wrote:
I guess my question is this: Is it really "bad web design" to use the DL,
DT, and DD elements exactly as they were intended to be used (in the case
of creating a glossary, for example, or something reasonably similar) just
because screen readers aren't implementing it correctly? Put another way,
do we stop using the correct element for the job just because of poor
implementation, or do we continue to use the correct element and let the
screen reader makers know about the issues?

On 2/7/14 12:24 AM, "Jan Eric Hellbusch" <hellbusch@2bweb.de<mailto:hellbusch@2bweb.de>> wrote:

>Thanks, Ramón,
>> Definition lists are not accessibility supported. Period.
>As a screen reader user I have always thought of definition lists as bad
>design. I use JAWS and of course it is the way JAWS deals with definition
>lists. My usual way of navigating through content ist with Ctrl+arrow keys
>and when it komes to definition lists, JAWS will join the DD with the
>following DT and not the DT with its following DDs. I am running JAWS 13
>with IE11 here and it is still that way.
>> I admit that tables might not be the best solution and that they look
>> "ugly" in terms of semantics, but they are quite more accessibility
>> supported and far more easy to understand. Even simple <ul> or <ol>
>> lists have better support; at least the screen readers announce a
>> "nesting level" that conveys an extra piece of "relationship".
>You get the nesting levels with DL as well.
>Tables are a lot easier to use in a screen reader than DL for 2 column
>In some situations it might be semantically prettier to use DL, but what
>counts is how users can deal with code.
>Jan Eric Hellbusch
>Tel.: +49 (231) 33005825<tel:%2B49%20%28231%29%2033005825> oder +49 (163) 3369925<tel:%2B49%20%28163%29%203369925>
>Accessibility-Beratung: http://2bweb.de
>Blog: www.chemnitzer-14.de<http://www.chemnitzer-14.de>
>Bücher, Artikel: www.barrierefreies-webdesign.de<http://www.barrierefreies-webdesign.de>
Received on Friday, 7 February 2014 19:12:01 UTC

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