W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2017

Re: Are links should underline all the time?

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2017 09:27:34 -0400
Message-ID: <CAJi9Cqq7JyqN=_Z4+LJ7H91nXBEWrApuXQzgNd89sp9qGqMCDg@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Patrick, What I am saying is also noted in H71 for instance:
"Authors sometimes avoid using the fieldset element because of the
default display in the browser, which draws a border around the
grouped controls. This visual grouping is also useful and authors
should seriously consider retaining it (or some form of visual
Likewise, H63 notes, "header cells marked up with td instead of th.
Sometimes, authors use this to avoid the display characteristics
associated with th and also do not choose
to use CSS to control the display for th".

I did not say it is easy to come up with a normative SC.
All I am highlighting is that some of HTML's default styling for
elements does aid accessibility and need to be identified / documented
as such so developers will think twice before replacing them.
I gave the example of handwriting feature on a mobile device  as an
example of an OS feature that  gets disabled; the S508 para I quoted
refers to OS features. As this is not a matter of presentation that's
why I noted  the reasoning separately.
Best regards,

On 7/3/17, Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk> wrote:
> 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.
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

Sailesh Panchang
Principal Accessibility Consultant
Deque Systems Inc
Phone 703-225-0380 ext 105
Mobile: 571-344-1765
Received on Wednesday, 5 July 2017 13:28:10 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 5 July 2017 13:28:11 UTC