RE: User Agent Implementation Guide Coordination and Development - proposal

This proposal was touched on during the Any Other Business topic at the Mar 6 A11Y TF meeting.  At that time I requested we have a longer TF discussion at another time but that has not happened.  See the Mar 6 TF minutes [1].

At a minimum I would like to ensure that the HTML WG is aware of this proposal since it will directly impact the work on the current HTML ARIA Implementation Guide Working Draft that the HTML WG co-publishes.

Janina suggested that this might make for a good F2F topic but it does not appear that many A11Y TF members will be at the F2F.

Can I ask that the TF coordinators add this to the TF agenda for Apr 3 and that Richard attend that discussion?

HTML WG co-chair


Paul Cotton, Microsoft Canada
17 Eleanor Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6A3
Tel: (425) 705-9596 Fax: (425) 936-7329

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger []
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 5:08 PM
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force; SVG WG; W3C WAI Protocols & Formats; SVG public list; Janina Sajka <;;
Subject: User Agent Implementation Guide Coordination and Development - proposal

Moving toward HTML 5.1 we need to produce a minium of 3 user agent implementation guides. For those new to this it is the accessibility API mapping guide that browsers must follow in order to support a host language or cross-cutting markup like WAI-ARIA. ARIA 1.0 is in the process of moving to recommendation status and we were the first standards effort to effectively go through candidate recommendation on such a document. Producing documents like this are necessary as it allows us to normatively ensure that what we put in content will work with assistive technologies across multiple operating system platforms.

Unfortunately, the HTML A11y task force did not effectively produce a normative implementation specification. Hindsight being 20/20 we did not pool all the qualified resources together to achieve the task and there was duplication of effort between what the ARIA task force was doing and what the HTML5 accessibility task force was doing. In addition to HTML we also need to do produce a User Agent Implementation Guide for SVG2. Furthermore, we have a convergence of HTML markup in SVG. Here are some examples:

  *   canvas support
  *   WAI-ARIA support
  *   Definition of elements in terms of WAI-ARIA host language semantics
  *   tabindex support
  *   iFrame support
  *   Use of the same DOM3 event handlers
  *   Use of document object methods used for things like activeElement needed to support keyboard support by JavaScript developers.

Given all these issues I had meetings with editor stake holders and I have produced a draft outline for 3 specifications which the editor stake holders have agreed to - as a solid starting point.

The proposal is to:

1. Start with the follow outline for the documents

It would mean that the ARIA user Agent implementation would form a core implementation guide as the subsequent host languages will have elements defined in terms of ARIA semantics. This allows HTML 5.1 and SVG2 to leverage the mappings that are in the Core, such as role, state, and property mapping tables as well as event notification. Host languages will be able to also define name and description computation rules specific to the host language.

2. Make Protocols and Formats or (the new name Accessibility Platform Architectures) be responsible for coordinating the activities and ensure input from both the HTML accessibility task force and the SVG working group.

3. Start with the following editors who have signed on as editors:

- ARIA Core: Joseph Scheuhammer
- HTML5: Steve Faulkner and Alexander Surkov
- SVG2: Rich Schwerdtfeger

4. We do have additional ARIA modules that will need to be created for both eBook structural semantics and Graphics (applicable to Canvas and SVG) that will need to be factored in.

This does not mean that the HTML working group or SVG 2 working group cannot publish the documents. This is a coordination discussion that pools the right resources. I can tell you that Steve Faulkner and I already coordinate on edits for ARIA support in HTML 5.1 and SVG2.

5. Post CSUN conference we will develop the logistics as to where we put these documents - Github location, etc.

Note: our goal should be to get these done in time for HTML 5.1 CR end at the end of 2016 as a minimum. I would like SVG2 sooner. Without this pooling of resources and coordination in APA (formerly PF) I don't see it happening.

Janina, if you could ensure that this is discussed in the HTML a11y task force this Thursday it would be much appreciated.

Best Regards,

Rich Schwerdtfeger

Received on Friday, 28 March 2014 21:15:36 UTC