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Re: J the Z on CSS transparency and Jaws

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 07:25:32 -0500
To: Bill Mason <w3c@accessibleinter.net>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <000801c2ebb7$24686880$6501a8c0@handsontech>

Thanks for this bill.  As it is, screen readers are doing a lot that is not
available to the point of having their behaviour used as benchmarks for how
to code a site.  So, if one screen reader does a lot of code tweaking and
another does not, those making code decisions will opt for leaving the rest
of the world out.  The screen reader should interact as much as possible
with the real world and not alter that but provide tools to utilize it.  The
real world of course needs to be something as known for modeling as possible
and that is why it is important to have comon ground from which to work such
as uaag and wcag.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Mason" <w3c@accessibleinter.net>
To: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>; "David Woolley"
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 5:04 AM
Subject: Re: J the Z on CSS transparency and Jaws

At 11:51 PM 3/15/2003, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>On Saturday, March 15, 2003, at 05:27 AM, David Woolley wrote:
>>One reason for JAWS honouring the visual behaviour, besides the fact that
>>it is a bolt on  to a visual rendering model,

This would be fine except for the further inconsistency that Zeldman
documented later of JAWS ignoring an imported style sheet.  I would think
it should either use what the visual browser is giving it in its entirely,
or don't use screen media style sheets at all.

>A good plan for screen readers, if possible, would be to use the idea
>of "quirks mode" as developed by a number of browsers for CSS
>rendering.  There's a "quirks mode" which preserves the bad habits
>that web developers have come accustomed to from legacy browsers,
>and a "standards" mode which does things the right way.  The switch
>is whether or not a certain doctype has been specified.
>I'm not sure what the switch should be for "accessible" mode, but I'm
>sure we might be able to come up with something to suggest.

The two situations aren't exact analogies, though.  Quirks mode in browsers
typically replicates actual bugs (generally bugs in implementing the
HTML/CSS specifications).  In this case, Zeldman's use of display:none is
not any sort of browser bug.

So the question would be how would a screen reader decide what use of
display:none is legitimate, and what use is not?  Or further, how do you
decide in the first place what constitutes legitimate here?  Should a skip
link be hidden with display:none because doing so satisfies an aesthetic
sensibility?  Does it matter from an accessibility standpoint?

I have some serious doubts about whether a screen reader should be trying
to decide what parts of a style sheet are OK to obey, and what parts it
will ignore.

Bill Mason
Accessible Internet
Received on Sunday, 16 March 2003 07:25:40 UTC

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