W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > July to September 1999

exposing mouseover events via the keyboard (was RE: test suites)

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Fri, 03 Sep 1999 14:02:04 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19990903134408.009daa50@pop3.concentric.net>
To: Chris Wilson <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>
Cc: User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Chris Wilson wrote:
>My question was in the context of providing access for accessibility tools.
>For mechanisms like the CSS :hover pseudoclass, and onmouseover/onmouseout
>events in the object model, I don't see a clear solution for providing these
>mechanisms.  The OM is particularly difficult, because I've seen lots of
>pages developed that use onmouseover to switch the visible content of
>another area (a clickless frame-selection, sort of).  Horrendously bad
>content-design decision for accessibility, perhaps, but I'd been pondering
>whether there was some way we could expose that capability to ATs.

aloha, chris!

this is something that concerns me greatly as well, but more from the
perspective of obtaining any information derived from javascripted events that
are exposed by on mouseover ...

to take an example close to home, consider the main Microsoft home page
<http://www.microsoft.com>

as i noted in a UA teleconference some time in june or july, the toolbar slash
nav bar at the top of the page offers the following options:

Home  Events/Training  Subscribe  About Microsoft  US/Worldwide  Downloads 
MSN.com

all of which are voiced when one navigates the page sequentially using the tab
key...  however, on mouseover, each of the items in the tool/nav bar spawn a
pop-down submenu of options that are not available to me as a speech user --
even if i traverse the nav/tool bar with JFW's mouse emulation cursor, despite
the fact that a sighted colleague can see the extended options appear on the
screen...  the drop-menus that are spawned on mouseover are not automatically
voiced, nor can they be considered navigatable as:

1. without sighted assistance, there is no way for a blind user to know that
they have been painted to the screen

2. even if one has such foreknowledge, it is difficult to navigate the
drop-down menu using speech, as the entire line of text (i.e. everything on the
screen, including the text which is partially obscured by the drop-down menu)
is read, making it difficult to ascertain what text belongs where -- a
difficulty which is exacerbated by the fact that when one queries JFW for font
and attribute information, it returns the font and attribute information for
the text behind slash beneath the mouseover invoked drop-down menu...

gregory

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He that lives on Hope, dies farting
     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
--------------------------------------------------------
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
   President, WebMaster, & Minister of Propaganda, 
        VICUG NYC <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
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Received on Friday, 3 September 1999 13:57:37 UTC

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