RE: Next steps for the ARIA syntax discussion

my 2 cents

Losing the  namespaces architectures seems to brake a lot of the original
aim of what we set out to do.

Further it is the dash approach that is new - first available drafts and
implementations were using the colon approach. 

And even if this was not the case, the agreement with early implementations
was that we would support early working drafts unless there was a good
reason not to - in other words, there would be an effort to reduce change,
but some change is inevitable with a working draft.



-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 7:22 PM
Subject: Next steps for the ARIA syntax discussion

Dear HTML, XHTML2, WAI-PFWG and implementers,

We would like to encourage discussion of this email and the analysis at [1]
to take place on [be aware that 'reply-to:' on this message
has been set accordingly].

At a relatively late stage in the development of the ARIA specification, the
TAG was invited to consider the question of the markup syntax for ARIA
states and properties, in particular the question of whether the attributes
encoding them in HTML- and XML-based languages should be written 'aria-...'
(hereafter "the dash approach") or 'aria:...' (hereafter "the colon

Based in part on a re-examination of the facts on the ground as regards
existing browser implementations, and in part on consideration of the more
general issue of language extensibility in the long term, (both reported in
_Syntax for ARIA: Cost-benefit analysis" [1]), the TAG has arrived at the
working hypothesis that the colon approach is both technically feasible and
strategically preferable.

The TAG is well aware that the WAI PF WG has built up a very productive
working relationship with implementers of all the major browsers, and that
the current state of the ARIA specification is in no small part the result
of the valuable information gained from the implementation work which has
already been done.  We recognize the value of that relationship, and nor do
we wish to delay the progress of ARIA to Recommendation unduly.  But we also
think our work brings important new information to bear on the question, and
that the TAG's remit to keep wider web-architectural issues in view adds
weight to our concerns.

Accordingly, we would like to invite you to consider three questions:

  1) Are the facts about the current state of play with respect to how
     current implementations work as set out in [1] reasonably

  2) Is the cost-benefit analysis in [1] missing any substantive
     considerations, particularly as regards the cost of changing
     implementations given testing timeframes, product release cycles,

  3) The TAG's working hypothesis is that "aria:" is both technically
     feasible and strategically preferable, on the grounds that the long-
     term benefits of a consistent approach to extensibility across all the
     Web languages outweighs the short-term costs of making the change
     at this time:

      (to the WAI PF WG):    Would you consider specifying 'aria:' in the
                             next WD of ARIA;

      (to the implementers): Could you see your way to changing your
                             implementation/spec. to comply?

We would be happy to work with you to move forward quickly to a final
resolution on this question.

Stuart Williams (co-chair)
for and on behalf of the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG)

Hewlett-Packard Limited registered Office: Cain Road, Bracknell, Berks RG12
1HN Registered No: 690597 England

Received on Thursday, 15 May 2008 14:22:48 UTC