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RE: Meaning of strong

From: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Thu, 12 May 2016 19:43:55 +0000
To: Matt King <a11ythinker@gmail.com>, ARIA Working Group <public-aria@w3.org>
Message-ID: <SN1PR0301MB19811F20D60B75975A2516E998730@SN1PR0301MB1981.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
Here are a few bad examples of this that I've seen recently with some clients.

<input type="text" title="Username" role="menuitem" >


<select role="listbox" multiselect >
<option role="checkbox" >Item One</option>

Plus others like

<input type="checkbox" role="button" >

Give me a few minutes more and I can come up with many more that I've seen...

Bryan Garaventa
Accessibility Fellow
SSB BART Group, Inc.
415.624.2709 (o)

From: Matt King [mailto:a11ythinker@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:09 PM
To: ARIA Working Group <public-aria@w3.org>
Subject: Meaning of strong

As a result of action 1489, I am taking a close look at the text of section 7.5:

My first set of questions from this section are about this paragraph describing strong native semantics.

"Host languages may document features that cannot be overridden with WAI-ARIA (these are called "strong native semantics"). These can be features that have implicit WAI-ARIA semantics, as well as features where the processing would be uncertain if the semantics were changed with WAI-ARIA. Conformance checkers may signal an error or warning when a WAI-ARIA role is used on elements with strong native semantics, but as described above, user agents must still use the value of the semantic of the WAI-ARIA role when exposing the element to accessibility APIs."

If I understand this paragraph, in the event that an author specifies an ARIA role for an HTML element that has strong native semantics, a conformance checker may call out an error. However, a browser must ignore theHTML semantics and use the ARIA semantics.


1.       Is my understanding correct?

2.       If the browser must respect the ARIA, isn't the first sentence incorrect where it uses the word "cannot". Shouldn't "cannot" be replaced with "should not"?

3.       What is an example? Could we include one in the text?

4.       Why do we call this "strong" native semantics if they have no effect on the way user agents and assistive technologies behave? What is "strong" about this? It seems more like they are "preferred" native semantics.

Matt King
Received on Thursday, 12 May 2016 19:44:26 UTC

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