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Re: Adding the word "meaning"?

From: Wayne Dick <wayneedick@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:45:50 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJeQ8SCAwJv1QKb7LC+LkuH9paBY4fr1ceMVabcUfBy3tFgL6A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Hi All,

There is a very old theorem due to Turing or Godel that is used to show
natural language semantics cannot be programmatically determined.
Specifically we cannot determine if a grammar is ambiguous. That is why we
include markup in the form of elements and more recently roles to
disambiguate language.

Now, STEM notation and icons included in text are being used as
substitutions for word phrases that are being interpreted within a
particular context. There are cases where the same symbol has different
meaning regarding it's context. This means that for an AT program to
properly represent the phrase substitution it needs the context. In ARIA
this is role (context) and value (phrase substitution usually implemented
with aria-label).

We have a problem because ARIA was designed primarily to support the
Accessibility API model of AT. Thus, using ARIA role for the role of a
symbol for AT not using the API would represent a change. However, how it
is done is less important than the fact that it has to be done for
programmatic determinism.

A short term solution would be to overload the usage of "role" for
font-context. A longer term solution will have to examine the structure of
inline semantics and an overall method to integrate them into the
techniques for 1.3.1. The use of role = "img" is appropriate for now. This
is because icons are images. Also, the role="math" is an accurate
designation for special STEM fonts used for notation. (STEM = Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

The reason why role (context) is so important is so that AT knows what to
do. If we are just changing font family for visual adaptation, a role of
"img" or "math" will just act like ARIA-Hidden. It will say, "Ignore this
symbol". If the ATwants to voice the symbol in a verbose mode it might say
something like "math symbol for the set of integers" when it encountered
"uppercase double struck Z" symbol (u+2124). In code it might appear as
<span role="math" aria-label="the set of integers> &#x2124; </span>. Since
the developer must already add the aria-label the role="math" is not that
much more.

That is why I think meaning is important.

Wayne
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Received on Friday, 21 April 2017 20:47:03 UTC

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