W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > May 2015

Re: ARIA use in HTML other than for accessibility.

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 1 May 2015 05:50:33 -0500
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "W3C WAI Protocols & Formats" <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFFEAA3998.55DB56F6-ON86257E38.003A7953-86257E38.003B8F27@us.ibm.com>

Where my head is at on this is that people should look at ARIA semantics to
drive the user experience. At its core ARIA defines semantics for UI
(structural, state, and properties). At IBM we have already begun to use it
to drive the look  of user experiences. When we have meetings with IBM
designers we are now having semantic discussions for which we can both talk
on the same level and build user experiences that are meaningful. If we
start with ARIA semantics we can use it to drive the style of the UI and
reducing the amount of JavaScript. This is becoming increasingly important
for mobile.

We are also crossing the line between what is for accessibility and what is
not. ARIA is becoming a curb cut for user experiences. We are looking at
digital semantics for digital books, drawings, etc. If we are successful
with ARIA semantics for books we can use it to drive UIs like every user
being able to say: "Go to the glossary."

This is what I mean by it is being used by more than just accessibility.


Rich Schwerdtfeger

From:	Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
To:	HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Cc:	HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "W3C
            WAI Protocols & Formats" <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Date:	05/01/2015 04:13 AM
Subject:	ARIA use in HTML other than for accessibility.

Note: have ccd HTML a11y taskforce and PF, but please reply to HTML WG list
so a broader audience can read and contribute.

Hi all,

There is some discussion  going on currently about the uses of ARIA for
cases other than accessibility.

My understanding in the context of HTML is that ARIA is to be used to allow
web developers to assign semantics to HTML content in order to make it
understandable to assistive technology users. And that it should only be
used when HTML features do not have this information baked in or developers
are building custom UI. Hence my formulation of the First [informative]
rule of ARIA [1] and the conformance requirements on ARIA in HTML [4]

The ARIA 1.1 spec appears to align with this view:
  These semantics are designed to allow an author to properly convey user
  interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies
  in document-level markup.

 So I was somewhat surprised to see a tweet [3] yesterday from Rich

  ARIA is providing more semantics than host languages and it is growing.
  Developers and Designers would be foolish to limit its use to a11y.

I see problems arising from the use of ARIA in HTML for purposes other than
UI accessibility including:

* Conflict with native HTML accessibility semantics
* Unnecessary cruft build up in the corpus of HTML documents due to its
extended use.
* Dilution of its relationship to accessibility APIs semantics and increase
in complexity of an already complex vocabulary.

I would really think there is a need for this stuff to be more thoroughly
discussed, especially in relation to ARIA use in HTML as a host language.

Review at your leasure, comment at will.

[1] http://w3c.github.io/aria-in-html/#first-rule-of-aria-use
[2] http://rawgit.com/w3c/aria/master/aria/aria.html#h-abstract
[3] https://twitter.com/rschwer/status/593758137989013504
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/html-aria/



HTML 5.1

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Received on Friday, 1 May 2015 10:51:08 UTC

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