Re: WAI-ARIA Graphics Module

Hi Amelia,

Thank you for all the great work. A few comments.

1. If you want to change the definition of the "img" role because we have
new roles called "symbol" then we are directing authors to do something for
ARIA in HTML today. My recommendation would be that symbol be moved to the
main ARIA core spec. to differentiate the two.

2. The HTML Figure element is currently mapped to a "group" or panel role
in platform accessibility APIs.

Your definition of figure also refers to a caption. That is fine but there
needs to be a distinct relationship between the caption an figure it is

Because we are not introducing new elements that are known to be directly
associated we need to be able to associate a label with the figure. We
could define a figcaption role that requires that labels  a figure. If we
want to do this we should also consider putting it in the core ARIA spec.

3. Graphicaldoc would appear to be a superclass of chart, map, etc. and not
a subclass. I see that graphical characteristics are missing from
graphicaldoc. This should subclass either the "region" or the "group:

4.  Regarding dropping the g- that will be a non-starter unless it goes
into the ARIA spec. It is possible that other taxonomies could run into
naming conflicts so we have an ARIA Extension model:

We already had this discussion with the ARIA digital publishing effort and
this was the extension strategy that we all reached consensus on. Let's
take figure for example. A figure could mean something entire different in
the fashion world. We have to ensure we do not have name conflicts. So, if
you would like a different vocabulary preamble, say graphics-, that makes
more sense then I would be open to that but we need to avoid name


Rich Schwerdtfeger

From:	Amelia Bellamy-Royds <>
Cc:	Michael Cooper <>, Fred Esch/Arlington/IBM@IBMUS,
            Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
Date:	06/21/2015 03:55 PM
Subject:	Re: WAI-ARIA Graphics Module

I've filled out the remaining role descriptions and created examples for
each.  Most of the examples are separate files (SVG or HTML).  I embed
these as objects to provide a figure showing the result of the code.

Here's my current draft on rawgit, jumping straight to section 4 (Graphics
That's a fork of the main repo under my account.  I've submitted a pull
request, but recommended that it be pulled as a separate branch so that the
issues below can be worked on before merging into the main repo or Rich's
changes.  If you think that's unncecessary, merge away.  Either way,
whoever accepts the pull request, please reply to this message with the new
URL that people should be using.

Below I outline the main changes and issues up for debate.

There are now six roles listed:
      "figure" is pretty much as we've discussed it.  The description is
      based heavily on the HTML 5 figure element spec, with influence from
      the ARIA region role.
            The example uses an HTML figure with an SVG that has labelled

      "graphicaldoc" (graphical document) and "graphicalobject" (graphical
      object) represent the structured graphic / structured image
      category.  I found that I could explain the purpose more clearly by
      breaking it apart into the two use cases:
            The graphical doc role would be for a large document section
            for which layout has semantic meaning.  This is the role we
            would sub-class for chart, map, etc.
            The example uses a simple electrical circuit diagram

      The graphical object role would be for a cluster of elements that
      together make up a meaningful whole (but you still want the ability
      to navigate sub-components as accessible objects).  This is the role
      we would sub-class for chart-axis, map-legend, etc.  I specifically
      call out the difference from a group of distinct but related objects.
            The example is something fun, inspired by Chaals' brainstorming
            example of a child's drawing of a house.

      "iconbutton" is my name for the icon role.  We can switch back to
      just "icon" if others prefer to keep it short, but I thought a more
      explicit role name might be helpful.
            I've got some short code snippet examples, but not complete
            embedded files.

      "img" is an edited version of the text from ARIA 1.1 for the img
      role.  I've added extra sentences distinguishing an img from the
      other graphics roles.
            The main substantive change is that I've added a SHOULD
            statement: an image should have a complete description.  This
            is because we now have separate roles (symbol and text) for the
            main use cases for images where a single alt text attribute is
            I've also added an example, an HTML document with inline SVG,
            where each <svg> element acts as an atomic image.

      "symbol" is pretty much as we have discussed it.  I added a sentence
            I've got a few examples of symbols in HTML and SVG, including a
            re-use of the electrical circuit diagram, and an adaptation of
            Fred's blueprint diagram showing electrical outlets in a room
            (Fred: I added a door to the room.  I thought a room with no
            windows or doors, but six electrical outlets, was a little too
Some general / stylistic comments and remaining issues:
      I've used semantic linebreaks [1] within the text descriptions.  Some
      of the existing text used automatically wrapping lines, some used
      hard breaks which were too long for my screen.  If we can try to be
      consistent with breaking lines at natural phrases, it will be easier
      to track edits made by different users.

      As we discussed, I added informative notes with fallback roles after
      each description.  I also used these fallback roles in the examples.

      I dropped the "g-" prefix for the role names because I found it
      cumbersome and confusing.  Unlike the dpub roles, I don't see a
      purpose in calling these roles out separately.  We want these roles
      to be integrated in with core ARIA roles like group and img.  When we
      start creating complex chart taxonomies, then it would make sense to
      create a separate namespace of roles, since they would be used in
      specific combinations.  Of course, I'm open to counter arguments.

      For the examples, if I was using SVG title and desc elements, I
      didn't add aria-labelledby and aria-describedby pointing to them
      (since you shouldn't need to!).  This means that Internet Explorer is
      probably the only current browser that will present the full names
      and descriptions to a screen reader (even if it does so with the
      fallback roles).

      Where I've included an embedded object as a figure for an example,
      the object element is included inside the <pre> block that defines
      the example.  If there is a better markup for this, please send me a
      link to the syntax.  Or change it yourself and save me the trouble!

      I was not able to get the automatic cross-references to the main ARIA
      spec working.  I'm currently just using the <rref> and <pref>
      shorthand markup, which creates empty links to non-existent
      definitions on the same page.  If anyone wants to go in and fix this,
      please do.

      I haven't touched the introductory sections, since Rich was going to
      work on those & I didn't want to cause a merging mess.


Received on Monday, 22 June 2015 13:07:09 UTC