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Re: ARIA roles added to the a element should be conforming in HTML5.

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 08:11:34 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270910210611n305a2cc6q4a8c4e6d7d367686@mail.gmail.com>
To: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: Lars Gunther <gunther@keryx.se>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 7:58 AM, Steven Faulkner
<faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Lars,
>>Such an error message can be silenced by removing the ARIA role, but its
>> wording is focusing the use of the a-tag, thus encouraging the use of proper
>> >markup.
> That is the crux of the issue, it can be silenced by reducing the
> accessibility of the existing content.
> regards
> Stevef
> 2009/10/21 Lars Gunther <gunther@keryx.se>
>> 2009-10-21 12:37, Schnabel, Stefan skrev:
>>> Id like to see the conformance checker algorithm code that can decide
>>> if <a> has been erroneously used instead of <button> in a form- like
>>> element grouping 
>> Would it not suffice if the validator in its error message complained
>> about the a-element instead of the ARIA role.
>> E.g. "ARIA role and element name mismatch. If you intend to use this link
>> as a button, use the button element."
>> Such an error message can be silenced by removing the ARIA role, but its
>> wording is focusing the use of the a-tag, thus encouraging the use of proper
>> markup.
>> BTW, I think YUI and JQuery can be evangelized into using button. Does
>> anyone have a link to their bug tracker?
>> --
>> Lars Gunther
>> http://keryx.se/
>> http://twitter.com/itpastorn/
>> http://itpastorn.blogspot.com/

You have a very good point. Some very popular JS libraries do turn
links into buttons. Many CSS tutorials tout this as an example of good
CSS usage.

If you go out and search on Google for "CSS link button" you get many
tutorials, examples, etc, that focus on styling links as buttons. If
you search on "JavaScript link button" you get many libraries that
support this functionality.

Frankly, I doubt that the HTML WG has enough clout to "evangelize" a
change in this regard. Most people don't even know this is supposed to
be "bad". Links and buttons: click, and something happens. JS
developers don't tend to let a little thing like semantics get in the
way. Some of the bigger libraries _might_ change their ways, but there
is significant use of link as button in the wild -- we're in effect,
telling people to "break" their web pages in order for them to be
proper. We're also going counter to the many, many existing libraries,
tutorials, etc that say, in effect, this is OK.

If we're paving cow paths, and working to ensure accessibility, it
seems to me that support for this very common usage should be taken
into consideration. Perhaps something in the specification to the
effect that such use is discouraged, but is not invalid.


> --
> with regards
> Steve Faulkner
> Technical Director - TPG Europe
> Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium
> www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
> Web Accessibility Toolbar -
> http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
Received on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 13:12:16 UTC

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