[uf-discuss] Appeal for Issues: Empty spans in value-excerption-pattern

Isofarro lists at isofarro.uklinux.net
Sun Nov 30 10:41:02 PST 2008

Ben Ward wrote:
> Hi Mike,
> On 9 Nov 2008, at 09:32, Isofarro wrote:
>> 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 
>> format isn't.
>> 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.
> So, I believe I'm reading this right that you're describing a 
> value-classed + inner text + title situation all on the same element, 
> and *not* where you have the value-classed element as an empty sibling 
> of the human form (which is what the current proposal specifies)?

I'm describing these cases:

<span title="machine formatted data">Human friendly content</span>
<span title="machine formatted data"></span>

The first, in many cases where the title is configured to be read by a 
screen reader, will replace the "Human friendly content", and in other 
cases be read before or after the "Human friendly content".

The second case, machine formatted data in many configurations will be 
injected into the reading order of a screen reader.

>> 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.
> Again for clarity, could you confirm whether the proposed pattern falls 
> into your definition of introducing machine-data into a human-visible 
> region of the page, given that the empty elements are ignored in the 
> page rendering.
> e.g, in hAtom:
> <span class="updated"><span class="value" 
> title="20081116T073000+0800"></span>16th November 2008, 7:30am</span>

Falls into the definition - there's machine data in the title attribute, 
so there is a definite chance of those characters being read out in a 
screen reader.


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