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Re: ARIA use in HTML other than for accessibility.

From: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>
Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 18:15:47 -0400
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com>, _mallory <stommepoes@stommepoes.nl>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20150520221547.GF2693@opera.rednote.net>
Hi, Steve, All:

I don't recall anyone answering your question. Since I think it a good
question and very germane to our HTML-A11Y telecon tomorrow, I thought
I'd take a stab at putting my current understanding on record.

Steven Faulkner writes:
> Are their reasons against the use of prefixed role values for specific
> vocabularies?
> Example role="pub-glossary"?
> 
> If there are what are they?
> 
Actually, I think all groups involved in the ARIA-Dpub conversation
would now agree that some kind of "name space designation" is essential.
Some might prefer formal XML approaches over an informal ABC-, but I
think it's now well understood that we need to distinguish one
vocabulary from another cleanly.

The current "poster child" example is the term "part," which has a very
different meaning and function for D-Pub semantics in an e-book from that in an SVG drawing of a
jet engine--which could also appear in the same e-book. Clearly, we'd
need to know which "part" was the right part in that e-book.

I think what's confusing people some is that some terms proposed in the
ARIA-Dpub FPWD are unprefixed. The notion is that some terms are of
general applicability, and should be available for wide, general use.
One such candidate term is "Chapter."

People may disagree as to what terms should be adopted for wide use, and
which should be closely circumscribed in a namespaced vocabulary, but
that's why we're having this conversation, imo. The proposed doc is
still but an FPWD.

hth

Janina


> --
> 
> Regards
> 
> SteveF
> HTML 5.1 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>
> 
> On 5 May 2015 at 20:24, Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken <tsiegman@wiley.com>
> wrote:
> 
> >
> > > because I was having a terrible time just getting the materials I needed
> > for school in an accessible manner.
> >
> > This is an excellent use case for why the time came long ago for
> > extensions.
> >
> > It is highly unlikely that most authors know that they intend to indicate
> > that each chapter is a landmark and each sidebar is an <aside> (default
> > role ="complimentary"). What about the glossary term that pops up when the
> > user taps on the glossary term but also displays as an aggregated list at
> > the end of the chapter?  Should the ARIA mark up only the widget
> > functionality or should there be something telling the user that this is a
> > glossary term and definition embedded in <dl> and associated with the
> > glossary term in the content? Would it be valuable for there to be a role
> > indicating that a region includes assessments instead of simply providing a
> > region with a name "assessment"? This might offer some uniformity in
> > test-taking for standardized tests. These are just a few of the example
> > that publishers face as we attempt to provide accessible content to our
> > users.
> >
> > The DAISY Consortium has been publishing for years using the principles
> > that semantics (or if you prefer, inflection) guide usability and
> > accessibility. They developed a structural semantic vocabulary [3] to
> > standardize the structure of written documents.  I know countless people
> > who have relied heavily on DAISY's Digital Talking Book to learn. DAISY and
> > IDPF joined forces to create EPUB 3 [4] as the accessible publication
> > format, with the full expectation that publishers would include proper ARIA
> > markup. EPUB 3 is also the standard for digital publication that the vast
> > majority of publishers and reading systems in the world use. The EPUB
> > structural semantic vocabulary [5] evolved and continues to evolve. One of
> > the amazing things about this vocabulary is that it benefits everyone. I (a
> > publisher) can create one table of contents with extensive CSS that feeds
> > into every reading system and user agents' automated bookmarking tool to
> > generate a table of contents widget, with the help of this vocabulary. It
> > would benefit an even wider audience if there was a clear path forward to
> > map these terms to the accessibility tree.  This is not representing lazy
> > developers, but the varied audience of those developing with ARIA  and
> > taking advantage of its communication with AT.
> >
> > I don't think this will be easy, but I think the benefits greatly outweigh
> > the risks.
> >
> > [1] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2015May/0030.html
> > [2] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-pfwg/2015May/0031.html
> > [3] http://www.daisy.org/z3998/2012/vocab/structure/
> > [4] http://idpf.org/epub/30
> > [5] http://www.idpf.org/epub/vocab/structure/
> >
> > Tzviya Siegman
> > Digital Book Standards & Capabilities Lead
> > Wiley
> > 201-748-6884
> > tsiegman@wiley.com
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Bryan Garaventa [mailto:bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com]
> > Sent: Monday, May 04, 2015 7:34 PM
> > To: _mallory
> > Cc: W3C WAI Protocols & Formats
> > Subject: RE: ARIA use in HTML other than for accessibility.
> >
> > > Those whom I trust as a developer to tell me accurate things aren't
> > > teaching at university. They're working as engineers right now. Most of
> > them are more familiar with the field because they're creating it
> > themselves, at companies.
> >
> > I agree that this is the case now, however I take what many companies
> > build apart every day, and I can attest from years of doing this that the
> > vast majority of mainstream developers at companies still have a very
> > limited understanding of what ARIA does and how it specifically interacts
> > with ATs, in many ways causing more problems than it solves when applied
> > without this level of understanding.
> >
> > The power in ARIA is that it directly interfaces with Assistive
> > Technologies. This is also the primary danger of it, because if developers
> > don't take this into account when using it, they can easily break
> > accessibility instead of enhancing it.
> >
> > A simple example of this is the use of role=alert when applied to a timer
> > field that counts the number of seconds displayed there. It may seem
> > useful, but since it ties into the alert system on the platform operating
> > system, it causes nothing but this information to be constantly repeated no
> > matter what a screen reader user is doing on the computer, effectively
> > hijacking their system.
> >
> > > Last time I saw "web development" in higher education, it was still
> > espousing <center> and <font> tags and everything in frames. In 2012.
> >
> > It's true that many old-school learning materials are often out of date
> > given the pace of development that we face, but that's no excuse for not
> > trying to provide better learning materials for those who are trying to
> > learn while still in school.
> >
> > When provided as E-learning materials, the same materials are available to
> > all developers whether they are enrolled in school or not, thus maximizing
> > exposure and knowledge transfer. These don't have to be books necessarily,
> > but actual interactive online materials that users can learn from, provided
> > preferably by those here at the W3C to add weight to their validity. This
> > goes beyond the scope of simple tutorials however, which is where the
> > background and platform level aspects of ARIA have to be conveyed at the
> > same time.
> >
> > This way new and learning developers won't have to continually return to
> > W3Schools for this purpose instead.
> >
> > > You have gone through this before-- was it something most people in the
> > field learned by themselves as well, or something more traditional
> > (Computer Science for example)?
> >
> > To put things into perspective, when I was in school, I was in my early
> > twenties and really had no idea what I wanted to do at that time. The
> > technology field seemed really interesting though, and everybody seemed to
> > be excited about the new developments there. I also realized just how bad
> > accessibility for technologies at that time sucked, because I was having a
> > terrible time just getting the materials I needed for school in an
> > accessible manner. Other things were going on then, and it became necessary
> > for me to find work instead of continuing my schooling. So I figured I
> > could do both and learn more about the technology field and learn
> > programming, hopefully to make things work a bit better.
> >
> > So I bought outdated eBooks on markup languages, learned them, studied
> > online resources and thousands of tutorials and blog posts, discovered how
> > many were misguided, full of mistakes and just plain wrong when it came to
> > using ATs such as screen readers with them, and had to eventually invent my
> > own system to quantify accessible dynamic content management in a way that
> > made sense and so that I could really make some progress in building
> > interactive web controls accessibly and with consistent results. This also
> > required that I learn visually oriented programming as well, such as CSS,
> > in order to understand how everything fit together when combined as fully
> > functional widgets. Since I can't see, I needed to find or invent tools
> > that would allow me to do this, and luckily as time went on others in the
> > field coming up against the same challenges were working on parallell
> > projects and we were able to share ideas and make this happen.
> >
> > None of these things were ever easy, and it's taken me over fifteen years
> > to learn and build all that I have in order to help others so that they may
> > not have to do the same as I.
> >
> > If things had been different, I would have loved to get a CS degree. I
> > don't think it would have made learning web development or ARIA any easier
> > at that time, because these disciplins weren't around then as they exist
> > now.
> >
> > The value of the times that we are in now though, gives us a unique
> > oportunity to provide real and accurate learning materials for all
> > developers, because many of these technologies are sufficiently advanced
> > and stable to allow for true education to be possible, where before they
> > were not.
> >
> > What upsets me about these circular conversations about ARIA, is the idea
> > that we need to make explaining ARIA so simple that developers don't have
> > to learn about accessibility.
> >
> > I don't have any problem with making ARIA easy to learn, it's the idea
> > that developers don't also need to understand how it effects accessibility
> > that I find to be a disservice to future developers who actually might find
> > these things interesting, instead of just onnorous.
> >
> > Going back to the original topic, I would love it if technologies had
> > in-built logic that automate accessibility especially when using ARIA. The
> > fact is though that we don't have magically advanced systems such as these
> > yet, and if future engineers are never trained in how to make them this way
> > from the outset by having a firm grasp of the concepts involved, we never
> > will.
> >
> > I apologize for the rant, but I really having been banging my head against
> > this particular wall for many years.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: _mallory [mailto:stommepoes@stommepoes.nl]
> > Sent: Monday, May 04, 2015 7:26 AM
> > To: Bryan Garaventa
> > Subject: Re: ARIA use in HTML other than for accessibility.
> >
> > On Sun, May 03, 2015 at 04:18:22AM +0000, Bryan Garaventa wrote:
> > > > Yes tackling it in education is important. But also giving working
> > developers resoruces to learn more without the expense involved in further
> > education.
> > >
> > > I agree, but having gone through this particular gauntlet first hand, I
> > also know that such educational resources must be first written by those
> > who are most familiar with this knowledge in the field, which unfortunately
> > does go back to education.
> > >
> >
> > Those whom I trust as a developer to tell me accurate things aren't
> > teaching at university. They're working as engineers right now. Most of
> > them are more familiar with the field because they're creating it
> > themselves, at companies.
> >
> > Last time I saw "web development" in higher education, it was still
> > espousing <center> and <font> tags and everything in frames. In 2012.
> >
> > You have gone through this before-- was it something most people in the
> > field learned by themselves as well, or something more traditional
> > (Computer Science for example)?
> >
> > _mallory
> >
> >
> >

-- 

Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.443.300.2200
			sip:janina@asterisk.rednote.net
		Email:	janina@rednote.net

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:	http://a11y.org

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair,	Protocols & Formats	http://www.w3.org/wai/pf
Received on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 22:16:16 UTC

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