[webkit-dev] Accessibility Object Searching

Chris Fleizach cfleizach at apple.com
Tue Jun 21 18:56:44 PDT 2011

Searching for elements on a webpage is one of the important functions for a screen reader, so this has the potential for vastly improving screen reader access on the web.

What's nice about this approach is that it will allow other platforms to also take advantage. It should significantly reduce memory usage, number of IPC calls and overall runtime whenever searching is done.

On Jun 21, 2011, at 4:30 PM, Samuel White wrote:

> Hey everybody,
> I'm new to the list and thought it would be a good idea to get some feedback on an accessibility feature before filing a bug or submitting anything. Currently, no functionality exists in WebKit to search through AccessibilityObjects using basic search criteria like next link or next table internally. Screen readers and other access devices often must instead probe WebKit and build up their own internal representation of a page before they can begin searching for what they are after. This presents two big problems for the users of access technology. First, pages such as the HTML 5 working doc have a massive number of DOM elements and building up an external representation can be a very expensive and slow task. Secondly, maintaining an accurate external representation of a site can become difficult if that site has a large amount of dynamic content and users may not be accessing relevant information.
> I would like to make a few small changes to the AccessibilityObject class that adds the functionality I've mentioned. I think these small but important additions will allow existing access technologies to rely much more on WebKits representation of a page and thus eliminate the problems I've described above. I appreciate any feedback and look forward to helping out.
> Thanks
> Sam
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