[uf-discuss] Appeal for Issues: Empty spans
lists at isofarro.uklinux.net
Sun Nov 9 09:32:49 PST 2008
André Luís wrote:
> I can see this option being adopted by people who are concerned about
> accessibility, while others might just go ahead and use the
> regular-problem-maker-of-a-pattern the datetime design pattern,
> preferring simplicity over accessibility. Right?
There are three possible configurations in a screen reader for handling
title attributes on elements:
1.) Ignore the title attribute and read the inner text
2.) Read the title attribute instead of the inner text
3.) Read the title attribute as well as the inner text
The choice between these options is user choice - the user opts for the
one that proves more useful over time.
In the situation where an empty span is used, with a class of value and
machine data in the title attribute, this is read out where the screen
reader is configured to use 2.) and 3.)
Where a value-classed span is used and a human friendly wording is used
as inner text, then in case 2.) the machine formatted data is read out,
but not the human-readable version, and in case 3.) the machine
formatted data is read out before or after the human friendly data.
So the accessibility barriers that are created are:
1.) machine-formatted data is being read out to screen reader users
2.) machine-formatted data is being read out, and its human digestible
Both cases result in content that is more difficult to understand, but
case 2 is actually worse - it replaces human readable content with
machine readable content. Both introduce accessibility barriers, just
one does more damage than the other.
With this in mind, from an accessibility perspective, any microformat
pattern which results in machine-formatted or human-unfriendly content
in an area that is supposed to be human consumable is going to create
one barrier or the other, depending on screen reader configuration. So
the logical approach to protecting the accessibility of the page in
these cases is not to use any microformat that specifies adding machine
data into a human-visible region of the page.
More information about the microformats-discuss