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Re: Are links should underline all the time?

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2017 21:42:14 +0100
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <930add5f-4243-d19c-4288-8385eaee9721@splintered.co.uk>
On 03/07/2017 20:36, Sailesh Panchang wrote:
> HTML's default presentation  has a purpose, accessibility being one of
> them. These help user groups other than with vision impairment.
> Links are underlined, contents of a TH cell in a table is bold and
> centred, a border around a set of form controls within a fieldset
> conveys a  grouping relationship, the relative significance of
> headings  with h1 ... h6 is discernible, the element that has keyboard
> focus is identifiable, and so forth.
> Browsers respect these  too.
> Content authors should be free to replace the presentation styles in a
> manner that retains or enhances their effectiveness from an
> accessibility standpoint.
> Permitting them to tinker with the default presentation in a manner
> that impairs accessibility should be a violation.
> I am strongly in  favor of an SC along the lines of  the old Section
> 508 paragraph 1194.21 Para (b) Softtware Apps:
> • Applications shall not disrupt or disable activated features of
> other products that are identified as accessibility features, where
> those features are
> developed and documented according to industry standards.
> • Applications also shall not disrupt or disable activated features of
> any operating system that are identified as accessibility features
> where the application
> programming interface for those accessibility features has been
> documented by the manufacturer of the operating system and is
> available to the product
> developer.

With this, you're setting a very narrow (yet at the same time very 
wooly) set of criteria. You're suggesting that presentational aspects of 
default UA styling are, at least in part, "accessibility features", but 
don't actually pin down exactly which part of them.

Then, you're suggesting authors may, essentially, only add/replace but 
never substract styles in order to "retain or enhance their effectiveness"?

None of this can be normatively defined, I'd say. Unless you completely 
"outlaw" style changes, which of course would never fly with authors and 
would go against the reality of the web.

> On the mobile platform for instance, I sometimes see that one is
> unable to use the handwriting feature to input text into a form within
> an application ... the developer has unknowningly done something that
> has broken the handwriting feature. (example of breaking a feature
> within the OS).

This is completely orthogonal to the styling discussion. For this kind 
of situation sure, I'd agree that there might be merit in exploring an 
SC. But not for the case of presentational styling, at least not in the 
manner you suggest.

Patrick H. Lauke

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Received on Monday, 3 July 2017 20:42:49 UTC

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