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Request for iimplementor's Guide for ARIA & acid tests

From: Aaron Leventhal <aaronlev@moonset.net>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 11:20:54 -0400
Message-ID: <47EBBB56.5010904@moonset.net>
To: WAI-UA list <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
CC: simonp@opera.com, hsivonen@iki.fi, marcsil@windows.microsoft.com, mjs@apple.com, w3c-wai-pf@w3.org

Jan & Jim,

The creation and widespread adoption of ARIA have raised questions as to 
how ARIA and the browser, together, provide for interoperability with 
assistive technologies. To web application developers and assistive 
technology vendors this come down to how ARIA is mapped to platform 
accessibility APIs by the browser.

Customer demand for accessible rich internet applications has brought 
the major browser manufacturers, Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft, and Apple 
together to define how we will map WAI-ARIA to platform accessibility 
API. To get the effort jump-started I've created a first WAI-ARIA User 
agent implementers guide 
(http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/ARIA_User_Agent_Implementors_Guide) which 
is based on the Firefox Accessibility API mapping. This document is a 
starting point for us browser manufacturers and it is still undergoing 
major revisions. Many of these revisions have to do with varying API 
support. Ultimately, the document should belong to the UAWG working 
group, however after lengthy discussion among us we would ask that you 
allow us to produce a first draft before turning it over to UAWG for 
participation. We feel this could be done by early to mid May.

In creating the first draft we will:

- Work to synchronize accessibility API mapping wherever possible
- Make use of the latest platform accessibility APIs to expose the 
richness of today's web. This was not possible even two years ago.
- Ensure we explain how ARIA relates back to HTML and this will be in 
line with the HTML WG's agenda to clarify HTML.

I would even go further and say that once these mappings are ready, that 
something like the "acid tests" should be implemented for each platform, 
to keep browser implementations of a11y in sync. Getting the API 
mappings right is the hardest part of getting accessibility right in 
browsers, and the most useful information for us. To me, this is what 
UAWG should be working on, if the W3C permits you to deal directly with 
platform-specific technologies. IMO it should, because in the end that 
will produce the biggest benefits for a11y.

We would like to ask that the UAWG take on:
1) Review of 
http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/ARIA_User_Agent_Implementors_Guide
2) Development of a similar guide for HTML
3) Development of a11y API acid tests to check for errors

Is this acceptable to UAWG?

Aaron
Received on Thursday, 27 March 2008 15:21:34 GMT

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