Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Accessible Mozilla: Tech overview of Firefox 22

Firefox 22 reached beta status (it will be released June 24). It's time to list accessibility improvements we made for this version.


ARIA role="note" doesn't allow name from subtree (bug) anymore. The bug caused JAWS, for example, to announce role="note" content twice.


* HTML radio group position doesn't count hidden radio elements (bug). So if the page contains hidden input@type="radio" then a screen reader doesn't take them into account announcing the number of radios.

* HTML input@type="file" changed its hierachy. Now it contains a push button and a label. Be careful if you have dependences on this hierarchy (see bug).

* HTML5 header and footer has changed their mapping according to HTML spec:
footer element that is not a descendant of an article or section element. contentinfo role;

header element that is not a descendant of an article or section element.  banner role.


XUL label@value element now implements text interface (partially). You can obtain a text between offsets but you can't get it by words for example (refer to bug). XUL label is used wide in Firefox user interface (for example, in Options dialog). Let us know if you have problems with new implementation.


RELATION_NODE_PARENT_OF has been implemented. It's exposed for aria-owns markup and XUL trees (used in Thunderbird and Firefox bookmarks).

Text interface

As I wrote before we started text interface reimplementation. Firefox 22 got improved getTextAt and getTextBefore offsets at word boundaries. Note, in case of getTextAt we had to mimic WebKit behavior rather than follow the ATK spec to keep Orca working.

Attention. It might be important

* Document load event may be fired a bit later than we used to do that, it will be fired right after all events contained in the queue at the time when document got loaded (see bug).

* IServiceProvider interface is implemented as a tear off (bug).


  1. Hi Alex,

    When will longdesc be implemented in Firefox?


    1. Hi, Laura. I don't know. A ball is not in hands of accessibility team. Personally I'm up if longdesc gets own UI but last time when I checked no one from UX Mozilla team has approved the idea yet.

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