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Re: State and Status of WAI-ARIA approach to host-language embedding

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 09:13:53 +0100
To: "Anne van Kesteren" <annevk@opera.com>
Cc: "Michael Cooper" <cooper@w3.org>, "Al Gilman" <Alfred.S.Gilman@ieee.org>, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>, "TAG List" <www-tag@w3.org>, "Judy Brewer" <jbrewer@w3.org>, "W3C WAI-PFWG" <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <f5by77b37i6.fsf@hildegard.inf.ed.ac.uk>

Hash: SHA1

Anne van Kesteren writes:

> Your solution also doesn't solve any of the problems:
>  * Authors cannot use setAttribute() and getAttribute(). Instead they
> have  to write a set of custom methods. This gives increased authoring
> cost.

I have said several times there is a cost.  It's a small cost.  The
proposed aria- alternative has a cost for authors too.  I think it's a
high cost, and it affects _all_ ARIA users, not just those writing

>  * Authors cannot style these attributes properly accross clients.

Is there any styling requirement for these attributes?  Suppose IE8
supported [aria\:...] selectors, would that make a difference to you?

>  * If at some point in the future we want to give meaning to the colon
> in  HTML5 we couldn't do it because this solution for ARIA would be
> broken by  such a decision.

Not at all -- it's a forward-compatible solution.

>  * This solution introduces two different sets of attributes rather
> than  one. I don't think that's architecturally sound and I think it
> will be  confusing for authors trying to switch from HTML to XHTML. (I
> don't expect  people to use the abstract methods they have to make
> themselves.)

I don't understand -- it specifically introduces _one_ set of
attributes, namely aria:..., instead of two, i.e. aria-... and aria:...

>  * This solution would violate several HTML design principles[1] as
> well.  Most importantly "DOM Consistency", but also "Degrade
> Gracefully",

I disagree -- it precisely provides for graceful degradation

> "Evolution Not Revolution",

You'll have to explain how.

> "Solve Real Problems",

Sure seems to me to solve the problem at hand, without introducing new

> "Priority of  Constituencies",

Again, explain please.

> and "Avoid Needless Complexity".

Two sets of attributes, with complex "when to use which" rules, are
simpler than one?

- -- 
 Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh
                     Half-time member of W3C Team
    2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
            Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                   URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
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Received on Friday, 18 April 2008 08:15:00 UTC

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