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Re: picking up on some comments in IRC on ARIA

From: David Bolter <david.bolter@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 10:51:06 -0400
Message-ID: <4A9E865A.6070102@gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
On 02/09/09 5:57 AM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>
> On Sep 2, 2009, at 2:47 AM, Steven Faulkner wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> <othermaciej> I'm not sure a strict mapping to accessibility APIs 
>> makes sense, because it would make it impossible to put any novel and 
>> clever heuristics on the UA side instead of the AT side --
>> Can you explain this further? if the UI is not mapped to 
>> accessibility APIs Assistive technology has to pull this info from 
>> the DOM, which is something you suggested previously in the alt="" vs 
>> role="presentation" discussion was not desirable for voiceover.
>
> What I mean is, I don't think it makes sense to define a mandatory 
> standard mapping to accessibility APIs for all possible HTML elements 
> and attributes.
>
> I do think that browser should communicate with AT by mapping to 
> accessibility APIs (and that's exclusively the way Safari/WebKit talks 
> to VoiceOver).
>
> But the browser should be free to implement heuristics for poorly 
> marked up content on the browser side, so the API mappings can't be 
> mandated by spec. In particular, when using Safari with VoiceOver, 
> some of the heuristics are implemented on the WebKit side before 
> mapping to the accessibility API. That lets us put less 
> browser-specific logic in VoiceOver. But to do that, we need freedom 
> on how exactly we map particular markup to the accessibility API.

We do this in Firefox as well. We look at native markup and ARIA, and 
ultimately what gets exposed to platform API is based on heuristics. 
Maciej, it would be great to have you or someone else from Apple 
involved in our efforts to make sure we use similar heuristics. Please 
see: http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria-ua-task-force

We're trying to make this all work with the least amount of pain for AT 
and web developers.

cheers,
David
Received on Wednesday, 2 September 2009 14:51:52 GMT

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