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Re: Rethinking the necessities of ARIA landmark role "main" and HTML5 <main> element

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2013 02:14:39 +0000
Message-ID: <CA+ri+VkthkNuEjjcjQWmB185WbvBX7WRA0umKpDyd=Ani8m8yw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Cc: Ian Yang <ian@invigoreight.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi Chaals,

thanks for the detailed reply to Ian, the apparent terseness of my own
reply was based on the knowledge of Ian's (Yang) being involved in much of
the discussion[1] that occurred on the WHATWG list on the subject, and in
fact being the person who triggered my renewed interest in the development
of the feature.

>My conclusions are that differences in the WHAT-WG version are silly, but
the element as specified in the HTML specification and as commonly
>implemented is actually very useful.

It should be noted that the differences (with the W3C definition) in how
main has been defined in the whatwg spec have not been ignored. I have
sought to understand what the reasoning for those differences is [2] and
also asked Ian (Hixie) directly on IRC, but have not as yet received any


with regards

HTML 5.1 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>

On 24 March 2013 00:33, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>wrote:

> On Sat, 23 Mar 2013 16:21:17 +0100, Steve Faulkner <
> faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
>  Hi Ian,
>>  Ian Hixie, he mentioned that the existence of the ARIA landmark role
>>> "main" is a mistake
> I've seen this assertion from him, and discussions about why. I am
> unconvinced by the arguments I have seen. I also haven't seen anything that
> reasonably contradicts the data Steve produced to justify the element. My
> discussions with web developers, from small-shop devs to things like Yandex
> with millions of users across dozens or hundreds of services suggest that
> the element makes sense.
>  That's very thought-provoking
> Well, it might be. The original proposal was thought-provoking enough to
> also provoke me into reading other people's thoughts and research and even
> doing a small amount of my own. My conclusions are that differences in the
> WHAT-WG version are silly, but the element as specified in the HTML
> specification and as commonly implemented is actually very useful.
> The fact that Ian disagrees with something isn't enough to be
> though-provoking on its own. He is clever, and often right. But not about
> everything. Some of his insights into accessibility are very helpful, and
> some of them just suggest that he knows more about other aspects of HTML.
>  both role=main and now <main> are part of the web platform and
>> interoperably implemented across browsers and assistive technology
> Yes, and this happened very quickly. That doesn't necessarily mean they
> are a good idea, because sometimes the wisdom of the crowd isn't quite as
> clever as we hope, but it suggests that a large proportion of the relevant
> decision makers, who on balance are usually quite smart and quite
> thoughtful about what they add to the web, are convinced that the element
> makes sense.
> A major reason for the element is to replace the "skip to main content"
> links that are all over the web, for accessibility purposes. While the use
> of those links is a terrible bit of architecture (they only work if you
> start from the top of the page and navigate with the keyboard, etc etc)
> they are deemed useful enough to include on all kinds of websites whose
> designs have been through multiple rounds of usability testing to ensure
> they make sense in practice.
> There have been discussions in all kinds of places. Since Steve was the
> big proponent, he can probably provide pointers by digging through his
> email archive, but I suggest you look at the mail archives of the W3C's
> HTML Working Group[1], the W3C's HTML Accessibility Task Force[2] in
> particular. You can also look at things like IRC logs, blog posts, and so
> on. A Yandex search [3] shows a handful of interesting perspectives in
> blogs and articles, too.
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/**Public/public-html/<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/>
> [2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/**Public/public-html-a11y/<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/>
> [3] http://yandex.com/yandsearch?**text=html5+main+element&clid=**
> 1823140&lr=213<http://yandex.com/yandsearch?text=html5+main+element&clid=1823140&lr=213>
> Note that this is just my personal opinion, and I am not always right :)
> cheers
> Chaals
> --
> Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
>       chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Sunday, 24 March 2013 02:15:48 UTC

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