User Agent Implementation Guide Coordination and Development - proposal

Moving toward HTML 5.1 we need to produce a minium of 3 user agent
implementation guides. For those new to this it is the accessibility API
mapping guide that browsers must follow in order to support a host language
or cross-cutting markup like WAI-ARIA. ARIA 1.0 is in the process of moving
to recommendation status and we were the first standards effort to
effectively go through candidate recommendation on such a document.
Producing documents like this are necessary as it allows us to normatively
ensure that what we put in content will work with assistive technologies
across multiple operating system platforms.

Unfortunately, the HTML A11y task force did not effectively produce a
normative implementation specification. Hindsight being 20/20 we did not
pool all the qualified resources together to achieve the task and there was
duplication of effort between what the ARIA task force was doing and what
the HTML5 accessibility task force was doing. In addition to HTML we also
need to do produce a User Agent Implementation Guide for SVG2. Furthermore,
we have a convergence of HTML markup in SVG. Here are some examples:

   canvas support
   WAI-ARIA support
   Definition of elements in terms of WAI-ARIA host language semantics
   tabindex support
   iFrame support
   Use of the same DOM3 event handlers
   Use of document object methods used for things like activeElement needed
   to support keyboard support by JavaScript developers.

Given all these issues I had meetings with editor stake holders and I have
produced a draft outline for 3 specifications which the editor stake
holders have agreed to - as a solid starting point.

The proposal is to:

1. Start with the follow outline for the documents

It would mean that the ARIA user Agent implementation would form a core
implementation guide as the subsequent host languages will have elements
defined in terms of ARIA semantics. This allows HTML 5.1 and SVG2 to
leverage the mappings that are in the Core, such as role, state, and
property mapping tables as well as event notification. Host languages will
be able to also define name and description computation rules specific to
the host language.

2. Make Protocols and Formats or (the new name Accessibility Platform
Architectures) be responsible for coordinating the activities and ensure
input from both the HTML accessibility task force and the SVG working

3. Start with the following editors who have signed on as editors:

- ARIA Core: Joseph Scheuhammer
- HTML5: Steve Faulkner and Alexander Surkov
- SVG2: Rich Schwerdtfeger

4. We do have additional ARIA modules that will need to be created for both
eBook structural semantics and Graphics (applicable to Canvas and SVG) that
will need to be factored in.

This does not mean that the HTML working group or SVG 2 working group
cannot publish the documents. This is a coordination discussion that pools
the right resources. I can tell you that Steve Faulkner and I already
coordinate on edits for ARIA support in HTML 5.1 and SVG2.

5. Post CSUN conference we will develop the logistics as to where we put
these documents - Github location, etc.

Note: our goal should be to get these done in time for HTML 5.1 CR end at
the end of 2016 as a minimum. I would like SVG2 sooner. Without this
pooling of resources and coordination in APA (formerly PF) I don't see it

Janina, if you could ensure that this is discussed in the HTML a11y task
force this Thursday it would be much appreciated.

Best Regards,

Rich Schwerdtfeger

Received on Wednesday, 5 March 2014 22:08:04 UTC