W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2007

ARIA in HTML -- a new FAQ, and a proposal

From: Aaron M Leventhal <aleventh@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:24:55 -0400
To: public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF2D24F329.A053FA4B-ON8525735C.00544B50-8525735C.0054A743@us.ibm.com>
I'd like to kick off a thorough discussion about ARIA, and its use in 
HTML. There are a lot of legitimate concerns about ARIA that have been 
expressed in this community. There also seem to be some misunderstandings 
based on incomplete information about ARIA. I thought it would be helpful 
to supplement people's understanding with a FAQ. This FAQ addresses both 
concerns I've had as well as those I've heard about ARIA: 
http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/ARIA:_Accessible_Rich_Internet_Applications/Relationship_to_HTML_FAQ 


Let me say that most newcomers to ARIA have the same concerns I have been 
noticing in this group. Four years ago, when I was asked to implement ARIA 
in Mozilla, my first statement was that it would be much better to just 
improve HTML and add new elements and properties. I also said that the 
markup would be more difficult than necessary, and that most developers 
won't do accessibility unless it is "for free" -- it comes along with the 
built-in widgets, ... and so on. Since then my view has changed quite a 
bit.

Please take a look at the FAQ. I hope it will help frame a constructive 
discussion about ARIA. One particular part I want to discuss in this group 
is Ian Hickson's proposal (in the FAQ) to remove the namespace dependency 
for ARIA properties. I have run this proposal by other browser 
manufacturers and large content providers involved in ARIA development. 

- Aaron


Aaron Leventhal
IBM web accessibility architect 
Mozilla accessibility lead
http://www.mozilla.org/access
Received on Thursday, 20 September 2007 15:25:15 UTC

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