ISSUE-627: Naming confusion between aria-autocomplete and HTML5 autocomplete.

ARIA and native semantics conflict.

Naming confusion between aria-autocomplete and HTML5 autocomplete.

State:
CLOSED
Product:
ARIA 1.1 Authoring Practices
Raised by:
Joseph Scheuhammer
Opened on:
2013-10-25
Description:
This came up with regard to test case 17:
https://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/testharness/testcases/edit?testsuite_id=3&testcase_id=17

The situation involves a DHTML combobox with aria-autocomplete="none", meaning the combobox does not support autocompletion.

The test file uses the follwing markup:
<input type='text' role='combobox' aria-autocomplete='none' ...>.

FF exposes IA2_STATE_SUPPORTS_AUTOCOMPLETION on Windows, and
SUPPORTS_AUTOCOMPLETION on ATK/AT-SPI, contrary to what would be expected based on the aria-autocomplete value of "none".

Under HTML5, <input> elements have an implied autocomplete attribute [1]. When not specified, FF sets the value of autocomplete to "true", and exposes that in the AAPI as "supports autocompletion" [2].

A similar situation would arise for role spinbutton where the author has used a text input element (usually to get keyboard access for free). Role spinbutton does not support aria-autocomplete, and yet the spinbutton would be marked in IA2 and AT-SPI as supporting autocompletion. It may also pop-up a list of completions when viewed in the browser, which is a somwewhat odd user experience for spinbuttons.

This amounts to a conflict between an ARIA property and a native property, and raises the question as to which property wins when an ARIA role is used that supports, or does not support, autocompletion.

Note: as of this writing, the HTML5 autocomplete attribute is marked "at risk" [3].


Additional comment from Matt King:

Since there is implied autocomplete on html 5 text input, if building a combobox with JS and ARIA, in order to suppress the browser's automatic suggestions for the input, you need to write something like:

<input role="combobox" type="text" autocomplete="off" aria-autocomplete="list">

In this case, we need the browser to respect the html 5 autocomplete setting of off but let the ARIA property win in the a11y tree.

[1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/forms.html#autofilling-form-controls:-the-autocomplete-attribute
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-pfwg/2013Oct/0041.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tests-cr-exit.html
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Related notes:

Example of a spinbutton where FF exposes "supports autocompletion":
https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/pfwg/raw-file/default/ARIA/1.0/tests/test-files/accessible-name-input/checkbox-label-embedded-spinbutton.html

Joseph Scheuhammer, 24 Jan 2014, 14:30:24

Example of a spinbutton where FF exposes "supports autocompletion":
https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/pfwg/raw-file/default/ARIA/1.0/tests/test-files/accessible-name-input/checkbox-label-embedded-spinbutton.html

Joseph Scheuhammer, 24 Jan 2014, 18:31:59

No longer considered a Core-AAM issue. Changing the product to the APG.

Joseph Scheuhammer, 2 Aug 2016, 19:56:26

https://github.com/w3c/aria-practices/issues/639

James Nurthen, 10 Apr 2018, 22:23:54

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