Last week in the "Accessible" module, March 9, 2009

Last week’s work saw quite some code cleanup.

Unification of role and finalRole

Previously, our nsI*Accessible interfaces exposed both role and finalRole properties. While role returned a preliminary role, finalRole always returned the finally determined role after all markup and ARIA processing had taken place.

It turned out that the role was hardly ever used, but everyone always asks for the finalRole. So, the decision came about to file bug 481357 and get rid of finalRole and make role do what finalRole did previously.

As a prequel to that, bug 482013 was fixed, refactoring all test files to use the common getRole and testRole functions in the testing framework. As a result, only one instance of .finalRole had to be dchanged to .role in the bug linked to above, to make all tests still work right.

This change will be exclusive to Gecko 1.9.2, since it will need some adjustments in DOM Inspector and other extensions that use our accessibility interfaces.

Crash fix in tree table code with some side effects

Alex also fixed a crasher in the tree tables implementation of getChildAtPoint/getDeepestChildAtPoint. After a fix for a leak that was uncovered by the test, the tests are still failing on Linux because of wrong coordinates we’re getting back. Investigation into this is still ongoing.

Originally, bug 471493 was also supposed to introduce crashtests specific to a11y. However, it appears that, once a crash test has turned on accessibility, that remains on for the remaining crash tests, and some of the others didn’t react well to that. A solution is under investigation.

Speaking of leaks

While investigating bug 420068, Alex found this memory leak. After he fixed that, the other bug seems to have been resolved, too.

Further test refactoring

I took on our table testing code and refactored it to use the new infrastructure. 4 more files that no longer use their separate implementations of retrievals of accessibles etc. That leaves 3 more files to go, and one of them is disabled right now because of bug 437980.

I also finally got the tests for aria-activedescendant refactor off my back. This one had been going on forever (or so it felt).

HTML 5 features

One thing I forgot to mention last week was that a few weeks back, the “indeterminate” property new to HTML5 was introduced to HTML:input @type=”checkbox” elements, effectively giving them the ability to be partially checked, for example as a master checkbox to dependent checkboxes. As expected, we didn’t expose the mixed state properly on these yet, so I took on that task. As a sequel, I’m currently working on exposing a proper action name for these as well. I’m having some trouble getting the tests to run properly, though. The tests go into an endless loop when I run them locally, so until I found out why, I’m hesitant to throw these at the tinderboxen. If anyone has seen this happen at all, suggestions are welcome. A sample log excerpt can be found here. The tests start running this test_comboboxes.xul file, then the whole a11y test suite starts running all over.

More text attribute fixes

Alex got the font-weight bug resolved, so font-weights are now properly exposed according to the visual representation and not through some seemingly arbitrary numbers.

aria-sort, aria-grabbed, and aria-expanded action exposure

David has been sinking his teeth into this one and has come up with a great idea to solve this. Since no desktop app ever exposed many of these things especially when it comes to a controlled drag and drop action from a screen reader’s point of view, this one requires careful thinking and design as well as good communication with AT vendors to get right.

Progress on plugging in accessible trees from plugins

Recently, community member Brad Taylor approached us with the question of plugging in accessible trees from plugins into our accessible tree on Linux, integrating third party plugin accessibility nicely with ours. A bug was filed, and Brad has been working on this, regularly communicating on the accessibility channel with David. A first WIP patch was posted on Friday.

That’s it for this week.

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