[whatwg] Document.title for SVG documents

Dirk Schulze dschulze at adobe.com
Tue Feb 4 13:46:02 PST 2014

On Feb 3, 2014, at 5:02 PM, Cameron McCormack <cam at mcc.id.au> wrote:

> Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> An even simpler solution would be to say "we choose the first
>> <html:title>  or<svg:title>  in document order". That has the nice
>> property that we align SVG and HTML more.
> Although as Dirk pointed out, SVG distinguishes <title> elements that are children of the root element vs children of other elements.  The <title> that is a child of the root element gives the title of the entire element, while a <title> child of another element in the document describes only that element (like title="" does in HTML).

You should compare screenreader output on IE and Firefox for Windows. SVG does differ titles in terms of hierarchy. The first <title>/<desc> element in the first hierarchy level after <svg> root is taken as title/description of the “document”. Document in the meaning that the outermost SVG root creates an SVG document. Any hierarchy after the first is the title/description of the group.

Here two examples with inline description:

  <title>This is the title of the document</title>

    <title>This is the title of the whole group with all decadents. Descendants can have there own <title> as well as a more detailed description of a sub tree. The SVG document has no title.</title>

The <svg> element within HTML content is by default used as image in most browsers. The role of the SVG document can be changed though.

For some more information see blog post “Using ARIA to enhance SVG accessibility” which tests the accessibility in browsers. [1]

I think we should not change the way accessibility is handled in SVG for the last 1.5 decades. ARIA on the other hand should behave the same as for HTML content (which it basically does). I am not aware of tests or researches that take different languages into account though. Anyway, I do not see how it would hurt if SVG defines accessibility for SVG content. We have some accessibility experts in the WG who add valuable input to the topic already.


[1] http://blog.paciellogroup.com/2013/12/using-aria-enhance-svg-accessibility/

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