[access-uk] Re: Firefox, Internet Explorer, and MSAA [was: Re: Re: Dominos Pizza website]

  • From: "Ray's Home" <rays-home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 13:39:35 +0100

Phew!  Well, all a bit beyond my comprehension, but I do wonder if
part of the problem is that the great majority of web pages are
written in a way to be optimally rendered and usable in the latest
versions of Internet Explorer.  This may incidentally or in other ways
tie in with MSAA and what is revealed via it, in the final analysis.

Probably nothing to do with MSAA really, but I've found one company I
deal with impossible to place on-line orders with and generally access
my account details, without using Internet Explorer, - and the web
developpers say it should work with Firefox, my default browser.  It

I think GW Micro have done as much as is possible to get Window-Eyes
working propperly with Firefox's impementation of MSAA, and it seems
to work pretty well for me.  (No statement intended there of a general


From Ray
I can be contacted off-list at:

-----Original Message-----
Alasdair King

Steve, forgive me for putting words in your mouth...

Firefox's standards-compliance is irrelevant: it's the ability of
Steve's screenreader to use it that is the issue. His screenreader
will have been built to handle Internet Explorer's presentation of web
pages, and Firefox support has been added at a later date and isn't so
advanced. Firefox support will improve in time if users demand it and
its MSAA implementation doesn't change. Ideally, in terms of support,
its MSAA implementation would be identical to Internet Explorer's,
since this is the de facto standard and the reference implementation
of a web browser for screenreader developers.

I use Firefox myself, but I'm sighted. Much better browser for me.

Best wishes,

On 8/18/07, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Steve Nutt wrote:
> > It is one reason I don't use Firefox.  It's MSAA rendering is
somewhat bad
> > compared to IE.
> Firefox's parsing of HTML into a Document Object Model (DOM) and
> application of JavaScript to that DOM is more standards compliant,
> its subsequent exposure of that DOM to MSAA is substantially more
> sophisticated than Internet Explorer's:
> http://www.mozilla.org/access/windows/at-apis
> How did you conclude Firefox's use of MSAA was "somewhat bad"? Did
> run a side-by-side comparison of what Firefox and IE reveal from
> the same DOM in Microsoft's MSAA inspection tools?
> http://urlx.org/microsoft.com/1c4f7
> http://urlx.org/microsoft.com/83d8f
> Note it needs to be roughly the same DOM, not just the same URL,
> 1. Sometimes different content is served to different browsers at
> same URL.
> 2. IE and Firefox construct different DOMs from the same
> source markup, styles, and code. (They have different sets of bugs,
> Firefox has greater support for standards.)
> 3. Hacks are often used to target bits of the source markup, styles,
> code at particular browsers.
> If you did do this, what was your test-case and what problems did
you find?
> > It misses links, mislabels them sometimes,
> Can you give any examples of this? Have you reported them as bugs?
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/
> --

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