W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > October 2009

Re: ARIA roles added to the a element should be conforming in HTML5.

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 02:56:59 -0700
Cc: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-id: <C2859C66-9C33-40E9-872E-C445C637CBCB@apple.com>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>

On Oct 21, 2009, at 2:23 AM, Jonas Sicking wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 1:45 AM, Steven Faulkner
> <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
>> hi maciej,
>>> I think <button> is pretty consistently fully stylable cross-browser
>>> (unlike, say, <input type="button">).
>> This is really incidental to the issue being discussed, most, if  
>> not all
>> html elements can be scripted and styled in a way that overides  
>> their native
>> semantic
>> If this is allowed, then it follows that the addition of ARIA roles
>> should not result in a conformance error, as the addition of ARIA is
>> incidental to the developers intention to overide the native  
>> semantics.
>
> Couldn't the same argument be made for any other element as well? Does
> this mean that we should allow ARIA roles on all elements?
>
> I guess there still are a few exceptions, like <script>, <style>,  
> and <form>.
>
> But for example <h1> can be overridden to look and act like a button
> or a link, does this mean that we should allow arbitrary ARIA on <h1>?

There are some elements with enough built-in behavior that it doesn't  
make sense to change their role with ARIA. For example, it doesn't  
really make sense to say a <textarea> is a checkbox. If your markup  
says that, you probably made a mistake. I'm personally not sure  
whether elements with strong semantics but fairly simple built-in  
behavior (like <a> or <h1>) should be able to take arbitrary roles. In  
practice, the most often repurposed elements are <div>, <span> and  
<li>, so it's not clear there is much need to put a funky custom role  
on <h1>. But it does seem fairly common to use an <a> element with  
styling and a click event listener or javascript: URL as a button,  
instead of as a link. Is it worthwhile for the spec to tell people  
doing such things that they are wrong?

  - Maciej
Received on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 09:57:34 UTC

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