Friday, May 11, 2012

Firefox 14: what's new for AT developers

Firefox 14 is in aurora channel and 5 June it's becoming a beta. We did a bunch of improvements and changes in accessibility support.


ARIA role="note" is mapped into IA2_ROLE_NOTE role.  ARIA role="form" is mapped to IA2_ROLE_FORM / ATK_ROLE_FORM role. Also xml-roles:note and xml-roles:form object attributes are exposed respectively.

ARIA aria-describedby attribute used on HTML image element and pointing to HTML a element makes the image accessible to expose showlongdesc action. This action opens an URL provided by @href attribute on HTML a element in a new window. Take a look at example:
  <a id="a" href="">a link</a>
  <img aria-describedby="a" src="mozlizzard.png">


HTML section element accessible has IA2_ROLE_SECTION / ATK_ROLE_SECTION role and exposes xml-roles:region object attribute what makes it similar to ARIA role="region".

HTML sup and sub elements are exposed as text-position text attribute. Say you have:
which looks like xi2. In this case you get default text attributes at range (0, 1) for HTML div accessible, text-position:sub at (1, 2) range and text-position:super at (2, 3) range.

HTML button having aria-pressed="true" attribute has IA2_ROLE_TOGGLE_BUTTON / ATK_ROLE_TOGGLE_BUTTON role.


Editable text fields always expose IA2_STATE_EDITABLE / ATK_STATE_EDITABLE state not depending on whether text field is readonly or disabled.

Undertemined HTML progress element and ARIA role="progressbar" expose STATE_SYSTEM_INDETERMINATE / ATK_STATE_INDETERMINATE state. Here are examples of indeterminate progressmeters:
  <div aria="progressbar"></div>

Correctness and consistence

Image map accessible tree is properly updated when image map is changed. So whenever you add or remove HTML area element to/from related HTML map or change @name attribute on HTML map the image map accessible picks up the changes.

XUL listbox accessible tree is updated correctly when list items are inserted or removed. The issue affected on Thuderbird UI and Firefox profile manager dialog. I'm happy that finally this problem was fixed.

event-from-input:true object attribute is exposed on event target accessible if it's a child of the focused editable area. In general this is not correct but it's a good approximation to desired behavior. So for example, if value of the focused editable area is changed by script then we still report event-from-input:true and that's wrong of course.

We report the value of tag object attribute in lowercase always. We do that for consistence with other markup languages like XUL, XHTML or SVG. Also tag object attribute is not exposed when it's not applicable, for example, it's not used anymore for bullet accessible of list item. These changes shouldn't introduce problems for ATs but you should be aware of them just in case.

In MSAA/IAccessible2 layer when accessible is defunct then any method called on it returns CO_E_OBJECTNOTCONNECTED now.

XPCOM interfaces

nsIAccessible::innerHTML attribute was removed. It dupes the HTML element interface capabilities so it doesn't make sense to maintain accessibility version of it.


ARIA relation attributes used on XBL bound element are allowed to point to XBL anonymous content. You can do:

  <bindings xmlns="">
    <binding id="custombutton">
      <content aria-labelledby="button.label" role="button">
        <label xmlns="" anonid="button.label">
          anon label

  <div id="button" style="-moz-binding: url('#custombutton');"></div>

In this case the button accessible picks up the name from anonymous label element.