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SVG2 tooltip, title

From: Dr. Olaf Hoffmann <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 11:36:31 +0100
To: www-svg@w3.org
Message-Id: <201301111136.31476.Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>

concerning the discussion about the behaviour of the title element
in the minutes, 10 January 2013
I suggest to align SVG 2 with the SVG 1.2 tiny and to separate
the functionality of titles and tooltips even more.
A title has not the functionality of a tooltip, it is basically a short
description, summary of the content it belongs to, intended to
be used only for the text alternative of the graphics.
A tooltip is a hint, suggestion or instruction to do something.
That some viewers display SVG title elements in a similar way
as a tooltip in (X)HTML (represented with the title attribute there,
that has the wrong name for this functionality as well) results in
a high risk, that authors provide wrong content within the title,
therefore not a summary, but an instruction.

Because title and desc are intended to provide text alternatives,
if one has an instruction instead of a summary inside the title
element, this will typically create nonsense for the text alternative.
The document or at least the text variant will become inaccessable
and obfuscated, because it will be almost impossible for viewers
to detect the difference between a title and a tooltip, if the same
element is used for both - at least in SVG tiny 1.2 an additional
attribute has to be noted, if the title is abused as a tooltip,
currently the SVG 2 draft has neither the related roles attribute
not the important RDFa attributes - those should be added soon
to be able to indicate semantical functionality to SVG 2 documents.
Unfortunately the SVG tiny 1.2 approach seems to be ignored
in most viewers, event if roles="tooltip" is ignored for the
metadata element, it is typically not displayed as a tooltip, 
therefore authors are still forced to abuse the title element
or to put an a element with xlink:title around an element to
provide a more appropiate structure. Because presumably 
xlink attributes will be depreciated in SVG 2, there is a need
for a replacement anyway for this attribute aligned to the
title attribute of (X)HTML.

Therefore - as already noted in the SVG 2 requirements -
I suggest do introduce a tooltip element or attribute in SVG 2
to enable authors to separate the functionalities of a title from
that of a tooltip clearly. With such a specific structure named
tooltip I think there is a good chance, that this will be really
implemented as a tooltip and the abuse of the title element
can be stopped, therefore this would be an important improvement
of accessibility of SVG documents.

Received on Friday, 11 January 2013 10:37:01 UTC

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