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Re: [csswg-drafts] [css-counter-styles] Clarification on use of the term "speak-as" and possible alternatives (#6040)

From: Tab Atkins Jr. via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 13 May 2021 22:36:09 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-840874164-1620945368-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
> The name speak-as is therefore slightly misleading, as it won't always be speech, and in any case we don't directly control the speech that a screenreader outputs. We provide it with some text string it uses to make an announcement.

I've added some clarifying text that this is meant to handle any non-visual rendering medium; it's just hard to talk about these things in generic terms and still make sense. Hopefully the intro paragraph, and Note following the values, clears things up.

If we still need to rename the descriptor, we probably can, but I'd prefer not to churn if we don't have to.


> * bullet: trivial


> * number: it appears that we should always use the decimal string of the counter value as the alternative text, regardless of the counter algorithm or the content language; the screenreader will then read the decimal string in the content language. So the implementation is trivial, and the spec text doesn't seem very related

Correct, tho I'm not sure what you mean by "spec text doesn't seem very related". It says to speak out the numeric value; what you just described seems to be exactly that.

> * words: use the same counter text as the alternative text. Seems trivial, but again, we don't really have control on whether it's spoken as a number or words

Yup, you've got it right, just feeding the counter-representation to the screen reader is correct.

> * spell-out: we don't have a way to provide vocal hints to the screenreader, so this is unimplementable.

You should probably be able to get this to work at least approximately correct by splitting on grapheme clusters and putting spaces between them, then feeding them to the screen reader. Best effort is what we're going for here; it's just wrong to read a list item counter like `AB. the 28th item...` as literally the word "ab".

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