W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-cssacc@w3.org > June 2012

Re: [css3-flexbox][css3-ui] ordering and accessibility concerns

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 23:48:03 -0700
Message-Id: <39B1562F-1085-47F2-9A9E-5D3FDEC64725@gmail.com>
Cc: "Marat Tanalin | tanalin.com" <mtanalin@yandex.ru>, "public-cssacc@w3.org" <public-cssacc@w3.org>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
On Jun 20, 2012, at 4:52 PM, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net> wrote:

> On 06/20/2012 04:08 PM, Marat Tanalin | tanalin.com wrote:
>> 21.06.2012, 02:26, "fantasai"<fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>:
>>> As for whether tab-order should follow visual or logical order, I
>>> don't have a strong opinion. Maybe someone else has good arguments
>>> one way or another. :)
>> Since flexbox is a CSS feature, whether its corresponding visual order should affect tab order could probably be controlled explicitly via some CSS property like `tab-order`.
>> For example, `tab-order` could have following possible values:
>>    * `tree` (or `normal`) -- used by default and means that tab order follows DOM order;
>>    * `visual` -- means that tab order should correspond to visual order (regardless of how exactly elements are reordered -- via flexbox or by using some other CSS feature).
> There's a 'nav-index' property in CSS3 UI. I'm not sure what it's
> implementation status is, but maybe it could be extended as you
> suggest.

I don't see any reason why it would be OK for 'nav-index' to change the tab order, but 'order' should be forbidden from doing the same thing. I think the relationship between order's effect on tabbing and tab-order's effect on tabbing should be similar to the relationship between order's effect on stacking/painting and z-index's effect on stacking/painting. Or, put another way, 'flex-direction' and 'order' would change the tab order to match the paint order, and 'nav-index' could be employed to override that if the author want something different (just as z-index can be used as a hammer to override the painting order). I think it would be weird for tabbing to jump around, back and forth, instead of following the visual order. Wanting something different would be the exception, and the time to use 'nav-index'.

Also, if the author is using 'order' or 'flex-direction' to change the order of some toolbar items or something, then he'd probaly want them read in that order too. I think if the property was called 'speak-order' instead of just 'order', you'd likely have no issue with it changing the order text was read. But we don't need it to be a separate property. The author can put a different order into a speech media style sheet if he thinks it would be otherwise detrimental to change the speech order (if it changed when the navigation links would be read in relation to the article text, for instance), or the user can have normal order in her user style sheet with '!important'. Letting 'order' change the spoken order is more likely to be a positive thing, though, and would be no worse or dramatic than choosing words, sentences, and paragraphs to be 'speak: none' or to use the 'content' property to change the actual words spoken.  
Received on Thursday, 21 June 2012 06:48:54 UTC

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