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XForms and Accessibility

From: T. V. Raman <tvraman@almaden.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 16:08:01 -0700
Message-ID: <15059.37457.868857.296306@bubbles.almaden.ibm.com>
To: www-forms@w3.org
CC: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org
This is a note to clarify and expand on the access
advantages of XForms.

It also points out an edit oversight in the last
requirements document that went out --apparently during the
cleanup process the access bullet got lost.

This said, XForms is likely to prove a significant step
forward with respect to accessibility due to:

1) Its separation of the underlying data model 
from the user interaction,
2) Design of high-level user interface controls  that
encapsulate all the metadata needed to provide complete
including captions for all controls,
as well as higher level semantics about the underlying
control --e.g. selectOne vs selectMany --as opposed to
today's what you see is all you have HTML forms--

The XForms wg has been focused on making XForms accessible
from the beginning  and to overcome the access problems
introduced by various versions of HTML forms 
--including today's unfortunate practice where there is no
association between labels and form fields.

I am editting the UI chapter, and am also a member of the
WAI/PF group and 
am the official access liaison. 

From: Harvey Bingham 
	Sent: Tue 4/10/2001 8:23 PM 
	To: www-forms@w3.org 
	Subject: Re: XForms Requirements WD Ignores Accessibility
	Please give serious consideration to accessibility of forms in
	new design. I hope this is only an oversight. Completion of
forms can
	be challenging for users with:
	    situational limitations
	From: Susan Lesch W3C Weekly News - 9 April 2001
	> XForms Requirements Working Draft Published
	> 6 April 2001: The XForms Working Group has released XForms 
	> Requirements, a Working Draft outlining requirements for the
	> generation of Web forms. Comments are welcome on the
	> public mailing list. See how forms are changing on the W3C
	> home page.
	>     http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-xhtml-forms-req-20010404
	There is no mention of accessibility therein. In the other
	>     http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Forms/
	<http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Forms/> "accessibility" appears, only
in the reference to Jakob Neilsen's book, 
	and the reference to The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines:
	From which the checkpoints about forms state:
	10.2 Until user agents support explicit associations between
labels and form controls, for all form controls with implicitly
associated labels, ensure that the label is properly positioned. 
	12.4 Associate labels explicitly with their controls. 
	Further, consider the guidance from the (just gone to last call)
	User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Draft 2001-04-04
	6.2 If the user can modify HTML and XML content through the user
interface, provide the same functionality programmatically by conforming
to the following modules of the W3C Document Object Model DOM Level 2
Core Specification [DOM2CORE] and exporting the interfaces they define:
(1) the Core module for HTML; (2) the Core and XML modules for XML.
[Priority 1] Content only. Note: For example, if the user interface
allows users to complete HTML forms, this must also be possible through
the required DOM APIs. Please refer to the "Document Object Model (DOM)
Level 2 Core Specification" [DOM2CORE] for information about HTML and
XML versions covered. 
	Techniques for checkpoint 6.2 
	Regards/Harvey Bingham
	Invited Expert, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Best Regards,

IBM Research: Human Language Technologies
Phone:        1 (408) 927 2608
Fax:        1 (408) 927 3012
Email:        tvraman@us.ibm.com
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Snail:        IBM Almaden Research Center,
              650 Harry Road
              San Jose 95120
Received on Tuesday, 10 April 2001 19:08:13 UTC

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