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

Re: ARIA use in HTML other than for accessibility.

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 May 2015 09:47:34 +0100
Message-ID: <CA+ri+VkjA2ZFOcLtz91feXRWCntLU1QOh9wHgW+o7UiB2JtjwQ@mail.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>
So far in this thread:

Hopefully it is clearer now that the subject is a scoping issue for ARIA
use in HTML. It is not about limiting the use of ARIA semantics added for
UI accessibility purposes.

A separate and worthwhile topic about baking event binding to UAs based on
ARIA semantics has been raised.

The paradigm in ARIA and in ARIA in HTML has always been only add ARIA if
native semantics can't do the job of conveying UI information to users. If
there is ARIA information in HTML making use of such information for more
general purposes is not forbidden. But the addition of ARIA for purposes
other than conveying missing UI information is actively discouraged.

ARIA use in HTML makes sense when it results in concrete improvements in
the user experience.

I have not yet seen any cogent arguments why this should change. If there
are, I welcome being disabused.



HTML 5.1 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>

On 1 May 2015 at 10:10, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> Schwerdtfeger:
> 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/
> --
> Regards
> SteveF
> HTML 5.1 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>
Received on Monday, 4 May 2015 08:49:04 UTC

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