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Re: Change proposal for ISSUE-85

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 17:05:16 -0500
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, public-html@w3.org, public-html-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFA5E1FBC7.D912D6F0-ON86257744.00785BE7-86257744.007957BB@us.ibm.com>

Rich Schwerdtfeger
CTO Accessibility Software Group

Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc> wrote on 06/16/2010 04:28:03 PM:

> From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
> To: Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
> Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, public-html@w3.org,
> Date: 06/16/2010 04:33 PM
> Subject: Re: Change proposal for ISSUE-85
> On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 2:08 PM, Richard Schwerdtfeger
> <schwer@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Rich Schwerdtfeger
> > CTO Accessibility Software Group
> >
> > public-html-request@w3.org wrote on 06/15/2010 10:19:58 PM:
> >
> >> From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
> >> To: public-html@w3.org
> >> Date: 06/15/2010 10:21 PM
> >> Subject: Change proposal for ISSUE-85
> >> Sent by: public-html-request@w3.org
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Updated change proposal including a discussion of links vs buttons in
> >> new NOTES section.
> >>
> >> ISSUE-85
> >> ========
> >>
> >>
> >> Don't allow people to use ARIA to write inaccessible documents.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> ARIA is useful for authors who need to make new widgets that HTML
> >> yet support. Buttons are supported by HTML, and therefore there is no
> >> reason for an author to make a link act like a button to ATs.
> >>
> > Ian,
> >
> > Buttons have been around in HTML for years. You seem to be misinformed
> > what the mainstream development community is doing. It would benefit
you to
> > walk down the hall and talk to the gmail people who in fact have used
> > role="button"> themselves. I don't know if it is in there today but
> > have done it.
> >
> > The reality is developers want to create custom UI components and
nobody has
> > an all knowing crystal ball to determine all the ways someone wants to
> > create a button.
> Note that no one (as far as I can tell) is proposing that adding
> "role=button" shouldn't work. Even with Ians change proposal browsers
> are still *required* to forward that role to AT tools, thus leaving
> the page no less accessible to users than with your change proposal.
You don't want to fire a warning or an error on someone who is trying to
make it accessible.

> >> Making a link act like a button to ATs while leaving it as a link for
> >> non-AT users will lead to non-AT users having a confusing experience,
> >> since the author will think the link is going to appear as a button to
> >> users and may refer to it as such.
> >>
> > Well, like I said I think gmail has a rather large install base.
> > they have managed. They are not alone by the way.
> Just because they have managed doesn't mean that their applications
> are accessible. I have had lots of issues with accessibility and the
> gmail UI and would love it if validators flagged some of the things
> they are doing as invalid as to increase the chances that they will
> fix it.
True. That is, however, a separate issue. It is not inaccessible for that
There are a number of accessibility issues with gmail. You will be happy to
that we are developing new rule sets to find these errors and and they will
be going into
new products soon. The work is going on at
Deque, ParasSoft, IBM, and the University of Illinois are members.

> >> What's important to remember is that there are more than two kinds of
> >> agents; there are at least three:
> >>
> >> 1. User agents with scripting, CSS, etc, which can be made to render
> >> elements (like <a>) as other elements (like <button>).
> >>
> >> 2. User agents with ATs, which report the accessibility mapping
> >> with ARIA, defaulting to the default semantics of the elements.
> >>
> >> 3. User agents without CSS support or without scripting support, and
> >> certainly without ATs, which always use the default semantics of the
> >> elements.
> >>
> > Over 90 percent of the web sites today use script. I think those user
> > have a problem.
> Leaving 10% of users behind would be a lot (though I do note that you
> say "over 90%", so maybe the number isn't that high). How does that
> compare to, for example, the number of blind people browsing the web?
I am not sure whose point you are arguing for but nobody should be left

> >> The only way to keep things consistent amongst all three is to use
> >> elements appropriately, and not override their semantics with ARIA.
> >>
> > So, what you want to do is use accessibility as a vehicle to enforce
> > vision of sticking to host language semantics.
> > You want to tell someone who is trying to make their web page
accessible be
> > an HTML villain - per your WhatWG post:
> > http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20100616#l-228
> > [04:58] <othermaciej> it disallows the concept with a
> > requirement, but does not make the syntax an error
> > # [04:58] <othermaciej> however, it does make the syntax <a
> > an error
> > # [04:58] <Hixie> right, role="" is a godsend here
> > # [04:58] <othermaciej> with a machine-checkable rule
> >
> > If you remove the ARIA role semantics it means that authors are free to
> > produce inaccessible content when they use script and CSS.
> Note that no one has suggested removing the ARIA role semantics.

Ian suggested it be used to flag an error which to quote him was a

So Ian is suggesting that someone who makes an attempt to make something
accessible gets
an error or a warning.

> > I mean you don't suggest
> > it is a failure if you add script and CSS so they will go right along
> > it. This is how we got into the situation where we needed ARIA.
Wefailed by
> > not giving
> > the authors the vehicle to convey their intent
> That is a different situation then here though. We are providing the
> vehicle to convey their intent. That vehicle is <button>.
Not if they override it with script and CSS. Then it may not behave like a
button. If it does
not and you don't convey the semantics properly you fail.

> > So, my position is that I am against idiotic conformance requirements
> > prevent real people from not using combinations of ARIA, script, and
> > CSS that are accessible. I do not believe in restricting the author in
> > way you are suggesting. I prefer to give the author the tools they need
> > do
> > what they want and be accessible.
> Note that <a role=button> is *not* as accessible as <button> to me.
> And I'm browsing with both CSS and Javascript enabled. For example it
> creates the wrong context menu when I right click, and it fills the
> page-info dialog with incorrect information about outgoing links.
That is because the page-info dialog ignores the accessibility meta data.
That is a bug.
The fact that a right click does not tell that it has a role of button is
also a bug.

> So I don't consider it a idiotic conformance requirement to ask people
> to use <button> rather than <a role=button>.
> And note, all we are doing is asking them nicely to change their
> markup. In no way are they punished if they don't follow our advice.
> In fact, we aren't even asking them unless they ask us first by using
> a validator.
See Ian's statement above - "godsend".

> / Jonas
> PS. This whole discussion is another example of how much simpler this
> would be if we removed authoring requirements entirely and left that
> task to lint-style tools. Then we would all be agreeing on what the
> spec say.
Received on Wednesday, 16 June 2010 22:06:11 UTC

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