Minority Opinion: Priority Level of UAAG 5.7

The priority level of Checkpoint 5.7 (support for the DOM2 Style Module for 
UAs that support CSS) should be raised from Priority 3 to at least Priority 
2, if not to Priority 1.


1. Inline style information attached to elements is exposed through the
    style attribute of the DOM2 Style Module. This is extremely important,
    as inline style attributes are particularly difficult (if not impossible)
    for most users to either anticipate and/or change/tailor/transform into
    something useable by that user by use of a client-side stylesheet. As the
    Proposed Recommendation draft of the DOM2 Style Module states, quote It
    represents the contents of the STYLE attribute for HTML elements (or
    elements in other schemas or DTDs which use the STYLE attribute in the
    same way). The expectation is that an instance of the 
    interface can be obtained by using binding-specific casting methods on an
    instance of the Element interface when the element supports inline CSS
    style informations. unquote

    I believe that this alone is a most compelling reason for raising the
    priority level of UAAG Checkpoint 5.7 (support for the DOM2 Style Module).
    Moreover, the quote cited above is drawn from Section 2.2.3. (Element with
    CSS inline style), a sub-section of Section 2.2, which is entitled, quote
    CSS Fundamental Interfaces unquote of which, the Proposed Recommendation

         The interfaces within this section are considered fundamental CSS
         interfaces, and must be supported by all conforming implementations
         of the CSS DOM module. These interfaces represent CSS style sheets

2. Currently the CSS module is the only way that pseudo-elemental information
    can be carried through the DOM, and thereby exposed to the user either
    through the user agent's UI, or via the user's assistive technology.

3. While information about nested lists is carried through the DOM, such
    essential orientational information is often unavailable to a user with a
    disability, due to the use of UA-generated symbols to indicate the nesting
    level of a list item. The use of pseudo-elemental text (using the
    ":before" and ":after" syntax outlined in Section 12.1 of the CSS2
    Recommendation) to indicate the nesting level of a list item (as well as
    distinguishing one list item from another) prevents perceptual black
    holes that can drastically affect a disabled user's interaction with a

4. Use of stylesheets to generate pseudo-elemental information (such as
    "Begin Spanish text" and "End Spanish text") is not only of incalculable
    assistance to users with physical disabilities, but may also facilitate
    comprehension of a document's content and structure for a user with a
    cognitive disability

5. Promotion of the development of more interoperable, as well as more
    accessible and more usable, user agents through the promotion of more
    widespread and robust support for aural and tactile environments (more
    robust support for "@media" rules other than those which have currently
    been implemented, and which are--implicitly or explicitly--visually-

1. Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Style Specification, 27 September
    2000 (Proposed Recommendation) Draft

2. Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2 Technical Recommendation

3. The :before and :after pseudo-elements:
The optimist thinks that this is the best of all
possible worlds; the pessimist knows it is.
Gregory J. Rosmaita     <unagi69@concentric.net>
       Webmaster & Minister of Propaganda
The Visually Impaired Computer Users' Group of
the New York City Metropolitan Area (VICUG NYC)

Received on Thursday, 19 October 2000 02:06:54 UTC