E-mail List Archives

Re: Available title indication via css


From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Nov 11, 2017 8:44AM

On 11/11/2017 14:02, Birkir R. Gunnarsson wrote:
> The title attribute has been supported in HtML for decades. Why should
> the fact that browser vendors fail to support it make it bad for
> accessibility?
> If we always go by the "it's valid but no one supports it, don't use
> it" we'd still be in the age of static HTML.

Compared to what? Having a pleasant feeling of "hey I'm using a valid
technique...not my problem if users can't actually use it because
browsers don't support it, not MY problem"?

> Isn't the point of standards to ensure authors can create universally
> accessible content without having to code for the nuances of how
> different user agents handle it, isn't that the responsibility of the
> usre agents?

Well, have fun continuing trying to get browser vendors to change their

> I discourage, well forbid, the user of title attributes on non
> focusable elements (with the exception of abbreviations and
> definitions, provided that the expanded form is available in text the
> first time the abbreviation/definition is used in the document), but
> there is no reason why the title attribute should not be accessible to
> keyboard only users if the browser vendors did their part.

See above. Right here, right now, only MS Edge keyboard users can
trigger a title tooltip. We can argue here that there's no reasons
browsers shouldn't do this as well, but the reality is that they don't.

> It is
> available to most popular screen reader/browser combinations (thanks
> in large part to the accessible name calculation specification).

Good, but that doesn't help other user groups.

> Why isn't the HTML standard updated to allow the title attribute on
> generic or non focusable elements (other than where it has a special
> purppose, and on images), but allow it on focusable elements, and push
> browser vendors to display it on keyboard focus. That, or drop the
> title attribute from the spec.
> The "it's there, it's valid, it's been there forever, yet you
> can't use it" approach is exactly why mainstream developers get so
> frustrated tackling accessibility.

And yet, it's the reality we have to deal with right here, right now.

Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke