Opened 2 years ago

Last modified 21 months ago

#2137 new enhancement

Report the Title Attribute on HTML lists and Tables

Reported by: ragb Owned by:
Priority: minor Milestone:
Component: Browse mode Version:
Keywords: Cc:
Operating system: Blocked by:
Blocking:
Changes document entry (for developers):

Description

The title attribute is used to add semantic information important in lists and tables. For instance the following pattern is commonly used to report the menu title for screenreader users:

<ul title="Menu title">
<li>Home</li>
<li>About</li>
<li>...</li>
</ul>

At least for lists (<ul> and <ol>) and tables (those not used for layout) the title attribute should  be reported when entering the object in browse mode, whenever it is available.

Change History (10)

comment:1 follow-up: Changed 2 years ago by jteh

Do users that aren't using a screen reader see this? If not, I don't see why this should be any different for screen reader users. This is not about providing alternative content, as the content in lists, etc. is already accessible.

comment:2 in reply to: ↑ 1 Changed 2 years ago by ragb

Replying to jteh:

Do users that aren't using a screen reader see this? If not, I don't see why this should be any different for screen reader users. This is not about providing alternative content, as the content in lists, etc. is already accessible.

I don't know if it is any different in current browsers but at the time when I had sufficient sight to see that, when you passed the mouse over the element a tooltip appeared. For images it was the alt text but for other elements it was the title attribute. For tables the caption and such works better, I agree. But for lists many people use the title to convey the menu title. Some use an even huglier approach: using an invisible header for screen readers to read. We are talking about semantics here. If the screen reader speaks the invisible header for speaking a menu title (even if it does not apear to the sighted user) why not speak a *title* attribute? I'm not sayig that it is a good or bad approach of web designers, but it is done and has semantic meaning that may be of importance for users, at least in menus. Clearly HTML5 new semantic elements, ARIA and such are better, but we can't control webdesigners...

Just for reference at least JAWS and VoiceOver have this behaviour for lists. I my opinion an option to report title attribute on list elements, configurable, would have good benefits, to report semantic information about a list goal, mainly for site menus.

comment:3 follow-up: Changed 2 years ago by jteh

For most users, the title is information that only appears when you actively choose to interact with or inspect the element; e.g. moving your mouse over it. In NVDA, you can achieve the same by looking at the object with the object navigator (or querying focus if it is focused). I just tested this and it does work for lists. For example, press NVDA+numpad1 to move to the object under the cursor, then NVDA+numpad7 until you hit the list. We should probably also be reading this when you press l to jump to lists, just as we read names and descriptions of form fields when you use quick navigation.

comment:4 in reply to: ↑ 3 ; follow-up: Changed 2 years ago by ragb

Replying to jteh:

For most users, the title is information that only appears when you actively choose to interact with or inspect the element; e.g. moving your mouse over it. In NVDA, you can achieve the same by looking at the object with the object navigator (or querying focus if it is focused). I just tested this and it does work for lists. For example, press NVDA+numpad1 to move to the object under the cursor, then NVDA+numpad7 until you hit the list. We should probably also be reading this when you press l to jump to lists, just as we read names and descriptions of form fields when you use quick navigation.

Yes, that's about it. With quick naviagtion makes sence to report the title, as it is done for form fields. But when navigating using the arrows what to do? It is strange to report one information with quick navigation and another (maybe less) when arrowing up and down... So I think the title must be also reported wen entering a list with the arrows. But I'm not sure, someone can come with an example where it does not make sence.

comment:5 in reply to: ↑ 4 ; follow-up: Changed 2 years ago by jteh

Replying to ragb:

But when navigating using the arrows what to do? It is strange to report one information with quick navigation and another (maybe less) when arrowing up and down...

We already report more information for form fields when you use quick navigation, since quick navigation is more like focus and therefore more active inspection. If we always reported names and descriptions when using the arrows, there would be a lot of duplicate information because labels and descriptions are often part of the document content.

comment:6 in reply to: ↑ 5 ; follow-up: Changed 2 years ago by ragb

Replying to jteh:

We already report more information for form fields when you use quick navigation, since quick navigation is more like focus and therefore more active inspection. If we always reported names and descriptions when using the arrows, there would be a lot of duplicate information because labels and descriptions are often part of the document content.

And it is right, I fully agree. Maybe I was not as clear as I wanted: for form fields this makes sence, that is, to report the name and descriptions only when using quicknav. When arrowing that information is most of the times reported since it is document content. However on the case of the title attribute it is not part of the document (is an attribute) so I think, that only in this case of lists, it should be reported also when arrowing and not only when using quick navigation. For other elements with title attributes I'm not sure what to do though.

Regards,

Rui

comment:7 Changed 2 years ago by ragb

This was posted to nvda-dev list and is worth reading, as is this abuot the usage of the title attribute:

http://www.paciellogroup.com/blog/2010/11/using-the-html-title-attribute/

comment:8 in reply to: ↑ 6 Changed 2 years ago by jteh

Replying to ragb:

However on the case of the title attribute it is not part of the document (is an attribute) so I think, that only in this case of lists, it should be reported also when arrowing and not only when using quick navigation.

See comment:3 regarding active inspection. Querying the list using object navigation makes this equivalent to the experience for users not using a screen reader. Leaving this open to fix the quick navigation case.

comment:9 Changed 21 months ago by peter

I actually helping with accessibility of one particular page. The author uses a 7*7 table to express one kind of relation. Each cell in a table is empty and has css defined colour to provide the information. It seems that the title attribute on the cell should be used to provide an information to blind users. It perfectly works with jaws. What do you think about a possibility to anounce titles for empty (e.g. only coloured) elements? May be that it should be ok to make it configurable if you think, that this is an information which is not visible for the sighted and so not important to automatically present to the blind user.

comment:10 Changed 21 months ago by peter

Well this is probably a firefox problem, because the title is not rendered in dom tree. above mentioned page works with nvda and ie (title of <td> is spoken by nvda).

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