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Re: ARIA and mainstream UI (was RE: ARIA 1.1: Deprecate @aria-grabbed and @aria-dropeffect)

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 12:28:20 -0500
To: Mike Elledge <melledge@yahoo.com>
Cc: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com>, Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>, Joanmarie Diggs <jdiggs@igalia.com>, John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>, "lwatson@paciellogroup.com" <lwatson@paciellogroup.com>, WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>, Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF91970063.6DB5966A-ON86257EC7.005F4FF9-86257EC7.005FFA6C@us.ibm.com>
Hi Mike,

Thank you for weighing in.

ARIA defines how we map the ARIA semantics to platform accessibility APIs.
We do not define default UI behavior. We don't tell the browser how it
should render the user experience based on those semantics. That is where
James and I agree.

However, if a host language were to then use that information define the
user agent behavior then that should be fine as long as it does not impact
the API mappings. All the API mappings for ARIA are worked on behind our
working group and the host languages.

Since ARIA, intentionally, defines nothing about browser UI behavior I
don't see how that if a browser who wants to define new behavior it should
be restricted from doing so. The problem you get into is that the user
experience may not be consistent across browsers. This was the point I was
making about the use of the "title" attribute or <title> element in SVG. It
leaves it up to browser interpretation of how that impact the UI.
Consequently, you could get a tooltip in one browser and not in another.

Does that help?


Rich Schwerdtfeger

From:	Mike Elledge <melledge@yahoo.com>
To:	Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
Cc:	Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com>, Chaals
            McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Joanmarie Diggs
            <jdiggs@igalia.com>, John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>,
            "lwatson@paciellogroup.com" <lwatson@paciellogroup.com>, WAI
            Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>, Sailesh Panchang
            <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org"
            <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Date:	09/21/2015 12:07 PM
Subject:	Re: ARIA and mainstream UI (was RE: ARIA 1.1: Deprecate
            @aria-grabbed and @aria-dropeffect)

Hi Rich (all)--

I'm a newcomer to this conversation, and, though I've read most of the
preceding emails, it may be that I've missed something.

I am confused, however, by your last post. If you are saying that the ARIA
spec is intended to describe mainstream browser behavior, aren't you also
leaving open the possibility that browsers can interpret the ARIA specs in
a way that enhances accessibility, if it becomes generally accepted (i.e.
"mainstream")? This would seem to support John and Sailesh's point-of-view.

Or were you thinking of "default" browser behavior, which would, for
example, preclude an on/off setting in the browser that would provide
additional accessibility should the user want it? That would seem to be
James' point-of-view.

If the latter is the case, don't we run the risk of unnecessarily
restricting creative browser approaches that could enhance accessibility?


On Monday, September 21, 2015 11:56 AM, Richard Schwerdtfeger
<schwer@us.ibm.com> wrote:

I don't think anyone who has worked in the ARIA working group would
disagree with you that we should be defining mainstream behavior in the UI
in the ARIA WG. So, if John and others are saying otherwise then we are on
the same page.

Regarding Host languages there are instances where the host language is not
clear about the behavior (like the use of "title" for tooltips). I these
instances browsers have made their own determinations on how to handle
those features. SVG is not very clear about this for example.

I would prefer that host languages be more prescriptive but that has not
always been the case.


Rich Schwerdtfeger

Inactive hide details for James Craig ---09/18/2015 06:50:06 PM---> On Sep
18, 2015, at 9:01 AM, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@James Craig
---09/18/2015 06:50:06 PM---> On Sep 18, 2015, at 9:01 AM, Richard
Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com> wrote: >

From: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
To: Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
Cc: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>, Bryan Garaventa
<bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com>, Chaals McCathie Nevile
<chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Joanmarie Diggs <jdiggs@igalia.com>, John Foliot
<john.foliot@deque.com>, lwatson@paciellogroup.com, WAI Protocols & Formats
<public-pfwg@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Date: 09/18/2015 06:50 PM
Subject: Re: ARIA and mainstream UI (was RE: ARIA 1.1: Deprecate
@aria-grabbed and @aria-dropeffect)

> On Sep 18, 2015, at 9:01 AM, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
> However, should a host language or browser decide to leverage ARIA (which
I think would be wise in some cases) to provide a better user experience
then that is where the UI should be decided.

Caveats below, but I don't have any objection to this. SVG is an example of
where this may happen, thanks to efforts by Rich and others.

> This is why ARIA neither requires or forbids user agents from enhancing
native presentation and interaction behaviors.

I disagree. This statement is unambiguous. User Agents should not change
the default behavior unless the behavioral change is specified in a host

Quoting the ARIA spec:
"Aside from using WAI-ARIA markup to improve what is exposed to
accessibility APIs, user agents behave as they would natively."

If a host language like SVG imports and extends the mainstream behavior
based on an ARIA attribute, then a browser should incorporate the behavior
defined by the host language. I don't see any objection to this.

However, that's a far stretch from what I think John and Sailesh may be
proposing. I may have misunderstood, but my reading of their emails is that
browsers could make some behavioral change based on ARIA attributes, even
if it is not defined in host language spec. That's a slippery slope and a
very risky proposal which I doubt many implementors — if any — would agree
to support.

One example: A few years ago, someone proposed that adding role="button"
should implicitly cause an element to become focusable and start
intercepting certain key events. Not only is that proposal contrary to both
the ARIA and HTML specs, it would actively *break* several DOM APIs,
causing mainstream web applications to stop functioning based on the
presence of an innocuous accessibility attribute. The backlash for this
could be that engineers become distrustful of ARIA, and become less likely
to allow accessibility retrofits in their code repositories, thereby making
it more difficult for engineering teams to get accessibility bugs resolved.

For these and other other reasons, I consider any suggestion of mainstream
behavioral changes in ARIA to be a harmful anti-pattern.


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Received on Monday, 21 September 2015 17:28:56 UTC

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