HTML5 default implicit semantics

This older post by the mighty Steve Faulkner got me thinking about the
proposals for extending aria. I'm not criticising these extensions but
wanted to raise some thing that has be nagging at me.

The underlying question in my mind is how do we get authors to use new
ARIA attributes for coga? It's proved not easy to get ARIA widely

In this article Steve points out that the belt a braces approach of
adding ARIA to built in controls is not needed with newer browsers.
The reason is the browser assigns default semantics and exposes those
via the a11y APIS. This is exactly how it should be and leaves ARIA
markup to be most useful when defining custom controls and structure.

In contrast, if I correctly understand the suggestions, we are
proposing an extension to this model of ARIA articulating predefined
semantics. The new attributes are unlikely to ever be useful for a
default semantic for controls or structure. Rather they are for
authors to add semantics to their content and structure which clarify
intent and as such they can be no default semantics.

Content and structure may operate at a higher level of semantics,
rather like custom controls and so always need to be described. I
still worry we'll have a job getting authors to actually use the new

Perhaps this doesn't matter much as the ARIA provides semantics in
both cases. However, the proposed coga_ prefix may be useful as it
helps keep this potential difference in mind


Steve Lee

Received on Friday, 6 November 2015 11:33:52 UTC