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aria vs native alternatives [was: Re: feedback requested on WAI CG Consensus Resolutions on Text alternatives in HTML 5 document]

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 10:05:33 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560909020705k69d81cdyabb76c3417ac96f8@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
A few weeks ago, in
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0899.html

Smylers wrote:
>> Aria is specifically about accessibility for those with disibilities.
>> A user without any disabilities using, say, Lynx or Firefox with images
>> turned off, would not be using any technology that processes aira-*
>> attributes.  As such she would not see an alternative to the missing
>> image, and would not know the purpose of the link.

Ian agreed with:
> ARIA is intended as an accessibility  API layer above the semantics
> of HTML ... last resort ... even with ARIA as an integral part of the
> language ... I don't think that removing ARIA markup should ever
> make a page non-conforming.

Why can't lynx or firefox use the aria-* attributes?  If (as suggested) the aria
spec itself forbids this, then I think that is a bug in the aria spec.

For "alt" in particular, it makes sense to keep using the legacy attribute,
because of the installed base.  For new elements, I see nothing wrong
with defining accessibility or fallback in terms of ARIA-* attributes, and
I see nothing wrong with mainstream user agents relying on those
attributes when they need information that the aria-* attributes supply.

If anything, I think it would be a positive good, as mistakes in aria-* would
then become more visible.

-jJ
Received on Wednesday, 2 September 2009 14:06:36 GMT

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