[webkit-dev] Accessibility Object Searching

Chris Fleizach cfleizach at apple.com
Wed Jun 22 16:21:02 PDT 2011

On Jun 22, 2011, at 3:34 PM, Dominic Mazzoni wrote:

> I just had another thought: how would this work in a multi-process browser?
> As you may know, Chrome runs an instance of webkit in a separate
> renderer process for each tab, but the GUI and all accessibility
> handling happens in the main browser process. Because accessibility
> calls are synchronous, we cache accessibility information in the
> browser process and respond to queries from that cache, rather than
> sending an IPC to the renderer process and getting a response. I
> realized that we wouldn't be able to use this search function very
> easily as you've proposed it. If NSAccessibility gets such an API,
> we'd have to write our own implementation that could run in Chrome's
> browser process.

I think this is one drawback of Chrome's approach, the inability to retrieve dynamic information. I suspect Chrome has similar issues for the NSAccessibilityParameterizedAttribute attributes, and that it doesn't support the AXTextMarker APIs that Safari does for the same reason.

To support this (along with the other things I mentioned) Chrome would need to synchronously called into WebCore, wait for the answer, and then return that information.

> My understanding was that WebKit2 and Safari are moving to a
> multi-process model as well. Is this design going to be compatible
> with this?

Yes, WebKit2 works with accessibility. You'll be able to see the code to support that strewn throughout WebKit2. Let me know if you need more pointers.

> - Dominic
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