<input type=search> and role=search

The WAI-ARIA draft has a landmark role 'search':

Safari implements <input type=search> which gives the right widget on  
Mac OS X and is already used on top sites apple.com and facebook.com.

I think <input type=search> is preferable over role=search because  
getting the right visual widget gives designers an incentive to flag  
the search field as a search field without having to do an  
afterthought accessibility annotation pass. Thus, with <input  
type=search> the accessibility landmark comes 'for free' from the  
author point of view.

<input type=search> has excellent fallback behavior. In browsers that  
don't know about <input type=search>, it degrades gracefully to <input  

I suggest adopting <input type=search> in HTML and, thus, removing the  
need for an accessibility-specific annotation for search.

Henri Sivonen

Received on Wednesday, 26 March 2008 09:10:26 UTC