Value of posinset and setsize for MenuItemView

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Joanmarie Diggs

Feb 8, 2021, 12:19:34 PM2/8/21
to Chromium Accessibility
Hey all.

In a CL I'm working on, Nektarios said:

> Note that posinset and setsize should be reset after a separator. They are currently not
> reset in Chrome. When I say "reset", I mean that a new set should start after a separator.
> This is the behavior in other Windows apps, notably Firefox.

Here is part of my reply, since I think this might benefit from wider discussion:

> I can certainly do the reset. But, playing devil's advocate, is it the right thing
> to do, even in Firefox?
> When posinset and setsize have values with respect to the full menu, you know exactly
> how big the menu is and where you are within it. There is no confusion when you press
> Up from the first item and cycle to the last, or Down from the last item and cycle to
> the first. I think this information is valuable -- and lost as a consequence of reset.
> I'm also not convinced the groups are so different that resetting the numbering is called
> for. For instance, if you navigate from "New incognito window" to the "History" submenu,
> is your understanding improved by being told "History" is item 1 versus item 4? For me as
> a sighted user, if the separator between those two items were removed, my understanding
> of the options would not change.

I then rediscovered/remembered that Orca was ignoring posinset and setsize for browser GUI *because* the Firefox behavior has always struck me as confusing. But arguably I should respect the authors and apps, so I just landed a change in Orca master to respect posinset and setsize provided by object attribute. The resulting behavior, however, is something I'm not jazzed by. Maybe it's just me??

Specifically, here is what Orca master now says (if you've enabled presentation of child position in Orca's preferences) when you get into Firefox Nightly's File menu (Alt+F) and down arrow in this 13-item menu:

> File menu. New Tab. Ctrl+T. 1 of 7.
> New Container Tab menu. 2 of 7.
> (...)
> Close Window. Shift+Ctrl+W. 7 of 7.
> Save Page As… Ctrl+S. 1 of 2.
> Email Link… 2 of 2.
> Print… Ctrl+P. 1 of 1.
> Import From Another Browser… 1 of 1.
> Work Offline check menu item not checked. 1 of 2.
> Quit. Ctrl+Q. 2 of 2.
> New Tab. Ctrl+T. 1 of 7.

As stated above, Orca users no longer get told how big the newly-opened menu is (13 items) nor have any indication of where they are with respect to the full menu as they navigate. Are conveying these groupings really worth this loss of information?

I arguably could try to make this better on the Orca side, for instance calculating and announcing the child count when a menu is first entered and announcing when one has reached the top and bottom of the menu. But for menus that are not divided in this fashion, I fear that will be seen as unnecessary chattiness. For instance, one would hear something like:

> Quit. Ctrl+Q. 13 of 13.
> Wrapping to top.
> New Tab. Ctrl+T. 1 of 13.

"Wrapping to top" is obvious (I would think) if one is on item 13 of 13 and presses Down.


> File menu. 13 items. New Tab. Ctrl+T. 1 of 13.

"13 items" is redundant to the "1 of 13".

Long way of asking: Do we want to change Chromium's menus to be like Firefox's, OR do we want to ask Firefox to change their menus? My vote is for the latter. I'm curious as to what others think.

Alexander Surkov

Feb 8, 2021, 2:01:30 PM2/8/21
to Joanmarie Diggs, Chromium Accessibility
Hi, Joanie.

I think it was me who implemented Firefox behavior 13 years ago [1]. Looking at the bug after all these years I'm not sure I see enough justification there why I suggested the behavior. It seems the bug was all about to not count separators and count different types of menu items.

Anyway. I tend to agree that the total number of items in a menu looks more reasonable/descriptive (and less confusing) than pretending we have only a group of items. Having said that, separators are an important part of UI, and it'd be nice if we exposed that information to screen readers somehow. For example, wouldn't it be nice if you hear something like "File menu, 5 groups of menu items" when you enter a file menu, and then "Save Page As, Ctrl+ S, 1 of 2, group 2" when you are on "save page as" menuitem? It might be also good for webapps, for example, in Gmail for the message compose button panel, where multiple button groups are present.

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