W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-aria@w3.org > February 2016

Re: ACTION-1490 proposal says good bye to the "inline" notion for combobox

From: Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@alum.mit.edu>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 13:48:28 -0500
To: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com>, Rich Schwerdtfeger <richschwer@gmail.com>
Cc: Matt King <mck@fb.com>, ARIA Working Group <public-aria@w3.org>
Message-ID: <56C36EFC.5020900@alum.mit.edu>
Hi Bryan,

I wrote:
> “Here "descendants" means either a DOM descendant of the container, or 
> one referenced by aria-owns.  This procedure won't succeed for 
> combobox containers if aria-controls is used instead of aria-owns.”

You replied:
> This is the part that is confusing me, because it already works, I’ve 
> tested this in IE11, Firefox, Chrome using JAWS and NVDA and it works 
> accessibly, and the same implementation is accessible in iOS using 
> VoiceOver in Safari.

What's working is the faux-focus that aria-activedescendant provides.  
That's likely working because the browsers are not taking the time to 
check whether the element that aria-activedescendant references is, in 
fact, a descendant.  That check is not performant.  The browsers are 
taking the author at their word.

What can't be working is the procedure for checking all the descendants 
of the combobox and marking specific ones as focusable. Note the 
"able".  A focusable state is neither a focused state nor a non-focused 
state but the ability to take keyboard focus at some point in time. 
AAPIs support a number affordances and being able to become focussed is 
one of them.

To repeat:  the core-aam defines a procedure that user agents must 
execute for containers that use aria-activedescendant to determine the 
focusable descendants within the container.  It won't work given the new 
combobox specification where the listbox is not a child of the combobox.

Possible solutions:
1. Run the same procedure, but base it on aria-controls.  However, Rich 
shot this down.
2. Do not use aria-activedescendant in this case.  But, then, I don't 
see how to get the effect of keeping actual focus in the text entry 
field while changing the active-descendant focus.
3. Re-write the definition of aria-activedescendant to include things 
that are not actual descendants.


'Die Wahrheit ist Irgendwo da Draußen. Wieder.'
                  - C. Carter -
Received on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 18:48:59 UTC

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