Re: Update on WebKit accessibility support (Re: WebKit release cycle and dependency request)


This is great news indeed! I'm particularly pleased that the tabindex
and ARIA work is happening. I'm not sure if anyone has stepped up to the
plate for the ATK back end.

Now, who wants to take the atk back-end torch and run with it? (I'd love
to, but I'm completely swamped)


Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

I'd like to give a quick update on the state of WebKit accessibility support, and clarify a few things.

1) Our accessibility code refactoring is complete; the Mac-specific code is now cleanly separated from a Mac-specific back end.

2) We have added a second back end for Windows MSAA. This validates the cross-platform accessibility architecture and the relative ease of adding a back end. (But it will still be up to GNOME/Gtk-focused hackers or other ports targeting Linux to add a back end for AT-SPI).

3) We have recently added support for global tabIndex, a prerequisite for ARIA: <>. We've also landed an initial patch for a small bit of partial ARIA support: <>. We realize there is a long way to go on this but I thought people here may want to know that things are underway.

To address some specific questions:

On Apr 17, 2008, at 5:29 AM, Willie Walker wrote:
For a first pass, if WebKit were to provide AT-SPI equivalent to Gecko
1.9 a11y sans ARIA support, I think it would be OK.  But, I would like
to see plans and commitment to delivering ARIA at some point soon

I can't really make firm commitments on behalf of Apple or the WebKit project as a whole, but you can probably guess that we're not going to stop working on it.

Another thing of great importance is to make sure WebKit
provided compelling keyboard support for interacting with the content. This includes navigating the 'read only' content using normal means
(e.g., arrowing, page up/down, etc.) as well as text selection and
cut/copy/paste support.

Scrolling read-only content and focus navigation are built-in, including the newly minted support for tabIndex.

On Apr 16, 2008, at 7:05 AM, David Bolter wrote:
Is there any accessibility support work happening for DHTML web applications? Is Apple working on that support in-house or is there open source collaboration?

Please note: "Implement tabindex for all elements, enabling accessible web apps" "Implement ARIA to enable dynamic web appliations"

Very important to get these issues resolved for the modern web :)

You will notice the first of these is RESOLVED/FIXED. Note that WebKit's built-in accessibility recognizes both controls and script-installed click event handlers to detect activatable elements and expose these actions to AT, so less complex DHTML will often work ok without any ARIA markup.

On Apr 17, 2008, at 8:36 AM, Shaun McCance wrote:

Yet.  There are some JavaScript things I'd like to do.
Things like annotation popups and collapsible sections.
Nothing on the order of a web app like GMail, but still
things that need to be accessible.

You may find some of these things are accessible without the need for ARIA, since appropriately marked up clickable controls are exposed to AT in any case. I would advise testing.

Hope this helps.

Best Regards,


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