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

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2009 16:32:14 +0200
Message-ID: <4AE06CEE.8030508@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Lars Gunther <gunther@keryx.se>, Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Tab Atkins Jr. On 09-10-22 16.13:

> On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 9:08 AM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>> In the spirit of "don't break the Web", the most important question seems to
>> me be to be "should it work?" Should a <h1> with a role="button" be
>> presented as a button in accessibility devices?
> You can't break the web unless a particular practice is already
> widespread and changing the current behavior for it would be
> detrimental to sites relying on the current behavior.
> Are there a significant number of sites currently using <h1
> role=button> and expecting it to be presented as a button to ATs?  Are
> there ATs who *do* present it as such?
> Both of those have to be true before "don't break the web" becomes relevant.

I agree that those questions are relevant. But one could just as 
well turn them and say: "Do you want to forbid aria="button" on a 
<h1>? Well, then you should first check that no sites do this, and 
that no user agents support it!"

The spirit of "don't break the Web" is "don't destroy the 
experience for the user because of some principle".

For CSS it is simple: You can style a <h1> as you wish, including 
ways that allow it to be used in non-conforming ways - even if 
such uses probably are quite seldom. During the specification work 
of this group, we have a number of times stumbled upon 
difficulties because some targeted UA hasn't had full CSS support 
for *all* elements of HTML. (<legend>, anyone?)

Why should ARIA work any different from CSS?

I think, in general, it only becomes difficult for authors, for 
spec editors - for everyone - if we mix what authors should do 
(semantics) with how user agents should act (parsing etc).
leif halvard silli
Received on Thursday, 22 October 2009 14:32:50 UTC

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