W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > September 2009

Re: picking up on some comments in IRC on ARIA

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 12:38:10 -0700
Cc: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-id: <233F6A63-7385-4655-AC27-B42F231E110C@apple.com>
To: David Bolter <david.bolter@gmail.com>

On Sep 2, 2009, at 7:51 AM, David Bolter wrote:

> 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.

I don't have the bandwidth for this, but I do regularly encourage  
anyone at Apple who is working on ARIA to participate, as their time  
permits.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Wednesday, 2 September 2009 19:38:55 GMT

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