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Testing philopsophy: opinions wanted


From: Karl Groves
Date: Apr 26, 2014 8:02AM

Warning: Somewhat geeky stuff follows

For a long time I've felt that anything in document source that cannot be
"experienced" by the user isn't a problem. Specifically what I mean is
stuff that has a CSS declaration of display: none. Because screen readers
ignore such content and because such content is made "invisible" to the
DOM, the content cannot be experienced, controls that would otherwise be
actionable, etc. are not and therefore users of other ATs like screen
magnifiers and voice dictation software cannot get to the content either.

So, like a Koan: if the user can't get to the content, is it a problem?

Turns out there might be an argument for testing such content. For those
who read multiple lists, I posted to PFWG and WAI-IG about an interesting
issue with hidden form labels. [1] The existence of duplicated use of the
same ID value within the hidden content - or aria-labelledby/
aria-describedby in the hidden content - seems to be the exception. Such
content *can* be experienced by the user and those IDs can, in some cases,
be referenced by ATs.

Here's what I'm wondering (in the context of automated testing):

In general, should hidden content be tested? Before answering, I agree that
if/ when it comes into view it must be tested. But in its hidden state, is
it relevant to test?

Or, should that testing only be limited to looking for specific things,
such as duplicate use of IDs, or external references to hidden IDs?

What value would you find in the ability to enable an option to test the
hidden stuff?

1 - http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2014AprJun/0090.html

Karl Groves
Phone: +1 410.541.6829


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