Need to pick an accessible drop-down...

Antranig Basman antranig.basman at
Thu Aug 14 18:39:07 UTC 2014

Hi there Steve - thanks for the suggestion, but Web Components don't fit 
in with our preferred development idiom in our communities. Our emphasis 
is on accessibility and openness - whereas by design, the markup and 
implementation for web components is hidden behind an impenetrable boundary.

We will need to make sure that we only make use of components which work 
on the standard web - that is, based on the use of a standard, open DOM 
in which the component's markup remains accessible. This means, for 
example, that accessibility and markup can be tweaked after the fact, as 
well as allowing for other transformations of the user interface. A 
cornerstone of our approach to accessibility is that interfaces are 
adaptible - and by definition, Web Components are not adaptible since 
all of their markup and behaviour has been baked in by the originator.


On 14/08/2014 17:43, Steve Lee wrote:
> Did you look at web components? I know Mozilla X-tags includes a drop
> down but I've not idea if it is accessible or indeed any good. Brick
> and Polymer may also have useful items. I've not played with them but
> this is on my short term roadmap for P4A
> Of course Web components aren't *there* yet in browsers [1] and
> require polyfills. Custom elements are fairly well supported by
> browsers with sane polyfills (at least on desktop). The polyfils are
> platform.js (polymer and X-tags), and document-register-element.js
> Contributing accessibility to as custom element in an existing
> collection strikes me as a great use of efforrt.
> Here are couple of useful articles on thestate of Web components [2]
> 1:
> 2:
> Steve Lee
> OpenDirective
> On 14 August 2014 08:59, Tony Atkins <tony at> wrote:
>> Hi, All:
>> In order to implement the reviewer interface for the Common Terms Registry,
>> I need an accessible drop-down menu that I can wire into my data model, for
>> example to allow the user to select their language.  This would also be used
>> in an alternate form as a simple drop-down menu (logout links in a "user"
>> menu).  If you want to see it in situ, here are the mockups.
>> My preference is to start with a select box, as it comes with decent
>> keyboard arrow support for free.  However, there are serious limitations on
>> how well you can style selects, as most browsers strongly impose their
>> implicit styling on them. Most sane approaches seem to hide the select
>> itself and present an alternate control in its place.
>> Last week, Antranig and I did a brief review of libraries that follow this
>> approach.  We talked about starting with jquery-selectbox:
>> There are some bugs with multi-selects and Firefox (I've filed issues for
>> both), but it seems as good a starting point as any.
>> I wanted to check in with the group and make sure that:
>> No one has already created a fluid component that addresses the general need
>> for drop-down menus and upstyled select boxes.  I haven't seen one in our
>> demos or code repo.
>> There are no other better starting points for this work.
>> Please comment.
>> Thanks,
>> Tony
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