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Comments about the DHTML roles

From: Catherine Laws <claws@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 14:43:31 -0600
To: WAU-ua <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFA7854F4D.FABBC558-ON862570BC.006E1205-862570BC.0071D916@us.ibm.com>
As input for our UAAG review of the Role Taxonomy document
(http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/GUI/roleTaxonomy-20051106.html), here are some
comments about the structure roles from the 10/17 FSG AT-SPI meeting:

Comments from Cathy Laws:

The importance property represents the relative importance of a role on a
scale from 0 - 1. The importance of each role is specified in the RDF
schema which is included in the Role Taxonomy document . Here is an example
related to heading levels:

<owl:Class rdf:ID="Heading1">
<rdfs:subClassOf rdf:resource="#SectionHeader"/>
<dc:description xml:lang="en">A level 1 section heading .</dc:description>

<owl:Class rdf:ID="Heading2">
<rdfs:subClassOf rdf:resource="#SectionHeader"/>
<dc:description xml:lang="en">A level 2 section heading .</dc:description>

The Presentational role is referring to layout tables versus data tables.

ROLE_SECTION is probably the most important role we need to add for
documents. With attributes to qualify the type of section.

Are LIST and LISTITEM roles referring to an unordered, simple, or
definition list OR are they referring to a selectable drop-down list like
SELECT and OPTION elements generate?

LinkBlock is a very common "role" that ATs provide navigation to today
based on heuristics - a simple list of links, a map of image links (areas),
a table row of links. These usually represent some navigation bar at the
top, bottom, or side of the document. FooterMenuSite is just a specialized
type of LinkBlock, so not really necessary. A ROLE_SECTION with attributes
could potentially work to identify blocks of links.

Question: Without a LinkBlock or Section type of role to "frame" the
boundaries of a list of related links, is there a problem currently finding
the begin/end boundaries of a list of links (in either anchor tags with
breaks in between, in an unordered list, or in map areas)?

Comments about PAGE from Andres Gonzalez at Adobe as well as from me:

The PAGE role is very important for PDF and word-processing documents. You
want to be able to jump to the top of the page quickly. And you need to be
able to get certain attributes about the page - like the page number and
other page information found in the page header and footer. However, the
physical page may not match the logical page. Like roman numeral page
numbers may exist before page 1, 2, 3, etc. Depends on content creation
system for determining page numbering and attributes. Accessible value
maybe could be the physical page number and accessible name could be the
logical page number.

Comments from Bill Haneman at Sun:

Front/rear matter roles are a concern, why not just a role for text outside
of the body, use attributes for fine-grained identiification for copyright
notice, etc.; attributes could be used even for pages, paragraphs, etc.;
this would help eliminate multiple roles.

Need to expose layout tables with a ROLE of TABLE, then provide hint to AT
that layout is presentational using an attribute; don't see a role of
presentational as helpful. Need to understand the Group role.

Maybe we could just nest SECTION objects.

 Need more info on Grid type roles.

A text list that is unordered, ordered, or definition, should use semantic
text attributes with ROLE_TEXT.

Don't understand LinkBlock and FooterMenuSite as roles. Need to study how
roles like these might be misused or used poorly.

Comment from Pete Brunet:

Accordian role is essentially collapsible and expandable sections. Used in
Macromedia Flash tool. Maybe could use the STATE_COLLAPSED and

Comment from Larry Weiss:

What about nested lists? How to find the beginning and end of each list?

Cathy Laws

IBM Accessibility Center, WW Strategic Platform Enablement
11501 Burnet Road,  Bldg 904 Office 5F017, Austin, Texas 78758
Phone: (512) 838-4595 or (512)838-2308, FAX: (512) 246-8502
E-mail: claws@us.ibm.com, Web: http://www.ibm.com/able

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Received on Thursday, 17 November 2005 20:43:59 UTC

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