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Re: ARIA and mainstream UI (was RE: ARIA 1.1: Deprecate @aria-grabbed and @aria-dropeffect)

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 10:49:30 -0500
To: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Cc: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com>, Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Joanmarie Diggs <jdiggs@igalia.com>, John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>, lwatson@paciellogroup.com, WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>, Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF5F432F04.90EC7B9B-ON86257EC7.00564868-86257EC7.0056EE09@us.ibm.com>
I don't think anyone who has worked in the ARIA working group would
disagree with you that we should be defining mainstream behavior in the UI
in the ARIA WG. So, if John and others are saying otherwise then we are on
the same page.

Regarding Host languages there are instances where the host language is not
clear about the behavior (like the use of "title" for tooltips). I these
instances browsers have made their own determinations on how to handle
those features. SVG is not very clear about this for example.

I would prefer that host languages be more prescriptive but that has not
always been the case.


Rich Schwerdtfeger

From:	James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
To:	Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
Cc:	Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>, Bryan Garaventa
            <bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com>, Chaals McCathie Nevile
            <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Joanmarie Diggs <jdiggs@igalia.com>,
            John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>, lwatson@paciellogroup.com,
            WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Date:	09/18/2015 06:50 PM
Subject:	Re: ARIA and mainstream UI (was RE: ARIA 1.1: Deprecate
            @aria-grabbed and @aria-dropeffect)

> On Sep 18, 2015, at 9:01 AM, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
> However, should a host language or browser decide to leverage ARIA (which
I think would be wise in some cases) to provide a better user experience
then that is where the UI should be decided.

Caveats below, but I don't have any objection to this. SVG is an example of
where this may happen, thanks to efforts by Rich and others.

> This is why ARIA neither requires or forbids user agents from enhancing
native presentation and interaction behaviors.

I disagree. This statement is unambiguous. User Agents should not change
the default behavior unless the behavioral change is specified in a host

Quoting the ARIA spec:
"Aside from using WAI-ARIA markup to improve what is exposed to
accessibility APIs, user agents behave as they would natively."

If a host language like SVG imports and extends the mainstream behavior
based on an ARIA attribute, then a browser should incorporate the behavior
defined by the host language. I don't see any objection to this.

However, that's a far stretch from what I think John and Sailesh may be
proposing. I may have misunderstood, but my reading of their emails is that
browsers could make some behavioral change based on ARIA attributes, even
if it is not defined in host language spec. That's a slippery slope and a
very risky proposal which I doubt many implementors — if any — would agree
to support.

One example: A few years ago, someone proposed that adding role="button"
should implicitly cause an element to become focusable and start
intercepting certain key events. Not only is that proposal contrary to both
the ARIA and HTML specs, it would actively *break* several DOM APIs,
causing mainstream web applications to stop functioning based on the
presence of an innocuous accessibility attribute. The backlash for this
could be that engineers become distrustful of ARIA, and become less likely
to allow accessibility retrofits in their code repositories, thereby making
it more difficult for engineering teams to get accessibility bugs resolved.

For these and other other reasons, I consider any suggestion of mainstream
behavioral changes in ARIA to be a harmful anti-pattern.


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Received on Monday, 21 September 2015 15:50:12 UTC

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