Chromium accessibility tools

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Alexander Surkov

Apr 23, 2021, 8:38:58 AM4/23/21
to Chromium Accessibility

I've been working lately on ax_dump_tree and ax_dump_event accessibility tools and have managed to make a bunch of improvements. I thought it might be nice to make a recap for the latest changes.

The tools:
ax_dump_tree allows you to dump an accessible tree of an application;
ax_dump_events allows you to listen to accessible events from an application.

These are command line cross-platform tools and available on Linux, Mac and Windows platforms.

These tools are great when:
* (web authors) you need to inspect an accessible tree for a website/test case, or when you need to check which accessibility events are fired; it's helpful to learn how a certain feature is exposed to the assistive technologies;
* (browser developers) you need to compare accessible trees/events between browsers. It’s helpful when you need to figure out why a screen reader works in one browser and doesn’t work in another.
* (spec authors) it’s useful to find implementation gaps and inconsistencies.

A bunch of pre-defined selectors are supported to work with the browsers. Use:
* --chrome and --chromium for Chrome/Chromium
* --edge for Edge
* --firefox for Firefox
* --safari for Safari

--active-tab to scope to a web document content.

For example, to dump Chromium accessible tree you simply do:
ax_dump_tree --chromium

You can also inspect any application by using --pid=application_pid or --pattern=application_title arguments. Here's full docs [1].

Also I've blogged about these tools trying to sketch up how the tools can evolve. Here is a link [2] in case if you are curious.


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