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Re: [css-flexbox] Accessibility of Order

From: Bo J Campbell <bcampbell@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 10:27:37 -0800
To: Bruce Lawson <brucel@opera.com>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF49D23FFE.F50B3D74-ON88257DD3.006485CC-88257DD3.006567E2@us.ibm.com>

> From: Bruce Lawson <brucel@opera.com>
> To: Bo J Campbell/Los Angeles/IBM@IBMUS
> Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, www-style list
<www-style@w3.org>
> Date: 01/20/2015 02:08 AM
> Subject: Re: [css-flexbox] Accessibility of Order
>
> On 19 January 2015 at 21:10, Bo J Campbell <bcampbell@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> > Flexbox is an extremely valuable, powerful tool but is currently very
> > restricted in use because the tab order easily breaks WCAG Meaningful
> > Sequence rules, causing their apps to be inaccessible.
>
> is it genuinely the case that these apps are "inaccessible'? This
> feels overstated to me. If, for example, I have
>
> <main>blah blah</main>
> <nav>doo wah diddy diddy dum diddy doo</nav>
>
> and use Flexbox order to put the nav visually before the main content,
> is that *inaccessible*?
>
> bruce
>
By "inaccessible" I mean that it does not comply with WCAG accessibility
standards and therefore cannot be released or sold to entities that require
a product to be "accessible" according to these standards. This is an
enormous market (100's of millions of dollars) and the standards keep the
term "accessible" from being subjective.

WCAG does allow the nav to be in front of the main content in this instance
(simple holy grail layout) since the order can be considered meaningless
(debatable in my mind). A page order must follow the meaningful sequence.
However, if Flexbox forces the tab order to follow the DOM and not the
updated Box Tree, developers are unable to do really creative things with
Flexbox, which is where the real power of Flexbox can be realized. Consider
using flexbox to rearrange data items as they come into an app, or for
letting the user customize the order. In those cases where the sequence is
meaningful, it would be powerful to tell the UA that it's meaningful and
have the tab follow the updated Box Tree like Mozilla is currently already
doing.

Bo
Received on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 18:59:51 UTC

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