Archive for the 'accessibility web standards' Category

Reading List

Web Components, accessibility and the Priority of Constituencies

Gosh, what a snappy title. I’m not expecting a job offer from Buzzfeed any time soon.

Today, Apple sent their consolidated feedback on Web Components to the webapps Working Group. The TL;DR: they like the concept, are “considering significant implementation effort”, but want lots of changes first including removal of subclassing, eg <button is=”my-button”>.

I think this is bad; this construct means existing HTML elements can be progressively enhanced – in the example above, browsers that don’t support components or don’t support JavaScript get a functional HTML <button> element. It also means that, by enhancing existing HTML elements, your components get the default browser behaviour for free – so, in this example, your snazzy my-button element inherits focussability and activation with return or spacebar withut you having to muck about with tabindex or keyboard listeners. (I wrote about this in more detail last year in On the accessibility of web components. Again.)

Apple raised a bug Remove the support for inherting from builtin subclasses of HTMLElement and SVGElement and notes “without this hack accessibility for trivial components is harder as more things have to be done by hand” (why “this hack”? A loaded term). However, it calls for removal because “Subclassing existing elements is hard as implementation-wise identity is both object-based and name / namespace based.”

Implementation is hard. Too hard for the developers at Apple, it appears. So Web developers must faff around adding ARIA and tabindex and keyboard listeners (so most won’t) and the inevitable consequence of making accessibility hard is that assistive technology users will suffer.

HTML has a series of design principles, co-edited by Maciej Stachowiak who sent Apple’s feedback. One of those is called “Priority of Constituencies” which says

In case of conflict, consider users over authors over implementors over specifiers over theoretical purity. In other words costs or difficulties to the user should be given more weight than costs to authors; which in turn should be given more weight than costs to implementors; which should be given more weight than costs to authors of the spec itself, which should be given more weight than those proposing changes for theoretical reasons alone.

Fine words. What changed?

Reading List

Reading List

  • UX accessibility with aria-label by Heydon Pickering. Top stuff. (Disclosure: I commissioned and edited it.)
  • Keyboard Media Queries – interesting suggestion from François Remy
  • 15 Years of Dao – It’s 15 years since A List Apart published John Allsopp’s “The Dao of Web Design”. Some clever people and me look back on its impact and continued relevance.
  • Mozilla & Shadow DOM by Anne van Kesteren. I don’t understand 50% of this, but it makes me conclude that real production use of web components (and friends) is a long way away. (Defining “production use” as cross-browser and built with progressive enhancement.)
  • CSS Containment Module Level 3 – DRAFT. foo {contain:strict} guarantees browser that any changes inside this element won’t affect the rest of the page, so it can make any optimisations it wants to. (It can’t guess this properly). I’m touched to see @tabatkins has used my twitter feed in Example 1.
  • Insecurity in the Internet of Things (PDF) – Symantec analysed 50 ‘smart’ home devices, found all insecure. Via Sergey Konstantinov of W3C TAG
  • How to Use npm as a Build Tool
  • original jQuery source code, newly-annotated by John Resig

Reading List

Here’s your Easter reading list. It’s more nourishing than chocolate eggs, and more toe-tapping than any Stravinsky spring-related ballet score.

Reading List

Reading List

Reading List

Reading List

Reading List

Well, spank me with a pilchard, dress me up as an otter and call me “Madam Sugartits” – here’s this week’s reading list!

I’m off for a holiday in Cambodia (it’s tough, kid, but it’s life) for 2 weeks. I won’t be taking nude photos, don’t worry. See you afterwards. xxx