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RE: ToolTips are a Technique & have no place in HTML5 [was Re: [Bug 9589]]

From: Sean Hayes <Sean.Hayes@microsoft.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 18:44:54 +0000
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, "'Gregory J. Rosmaita'" <oedipus@hicom.net>, "public-html-a11y@w3.org" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8DEFC0D8B72E054E97DC307774FE4B911A4F9F5B@DB3EX14MBXC303.europe.corp.microsoft.com>
So in my mind the 'tooltip' semantic is a reminder or hint of what the item in question does or is, it implies nothing about how or when that information should be available. One possible 'tooltip' behaviour is that it pops up when I move the mouse over the item in question, but that’s just a convention (and not a very accessible one).

Now the semantic is in a sense universal and could be in the spec, the behaviour is not and it shouldn’t be in the spec. If an alternate browser had a completely different mechanism to indicate the presence and present the hint, then that should be acceptable.

<summary> would be a good replacement for the tooltip side effect of title, if it were not restricted to being in a <details> element.

For example if I could write:
<a href="bogof.html" >
  <summary>Buy one get one free pizza offer<summary>
   <img src="BigPizza.jpg" alt="Big Pizza company logo">

<details> is a container wrapper to allow the UA have a standard way to animate CSS display:hidden and show/hide its contents. So <summary> is in effect a tooltip/legend/caption/ for the content of the <detail>. But I'm not sure how one would markup the example above with <details>. I don’t want to wrap the <a> or <img> with <details> because I don’t want my marketing offer to ever be hidden. If I wrap the <details> around the <summary> only, then it's not capturing the semantic that the summary is of the link.

I don’t know how widely <summary> has been implemented yet, or if there are any conventions or expectations of its behaviour.

Received on Monday, 26 April 2010 18:45:40 UTC

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