W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2009

Re: ARIA's role="" attribute (was Re: [Bug 7509] Consider <dl type="dialog"> instead of <dialog>)

From: T.V Raman <raman@google.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 16:31:55 -0700
Message-ID: <19113.35947.470671.359852@retriever.mtv.corp.google.com>
To: jonas@sicking.cc
Cc: raman@google.com, jfoliot@stanford.edu, hober0@gmail.com, tai@g5n.co.uk, public-html@w3.org


Here's an interesting analogy re microformats adding new role
vlaues vs the microdata/RDFAway of doing things: the much
(here) maligned XML Events module that I helped create in the
2002 timeframe.  We were faced with languages being needed to
extended each time a new event showed up --- the approach we took
was to say rather than having a plethora of on<foo> attrs, make
it a single event attr that takes <foo> as a value.

There are pros and cons to such decisions in language design.

Pro:  you dont have to change the grammar of the language --- so
 if someone has pen input, they can write event="onPenDown" as
 opposed to reving the language grammar to support a new
 onPenDown attribute.

Con:  You effectively introduce a level of indirection (the
 classic CS  answer to most problems) ---
you now need to write <... event="onPenDown"
 handler="startHandwritingReco"> instead of the syntactically
 lighter 
<... onPenDown="startHandwritingReco">

 On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 1:46 PM, T.V Raman <raman@google.com> wrote:
>
> For the record, I originally created the @role module for XHTML
> because I $(> sites like CNN by looking at class values such as storyText12pt
> and more obscure names.
>
> Well-designed classes can achieve the same end-result, but the
> class attribute I felt had already been sufficiently abused to
> make that goal hard. I have been repeatedly told by folks like
> Tantek of microformats fame that that decision was a mistake ---
> however, tying oneself to an over-used attr like class I felt
> (and continue to remain convinced)
> is too fragile, especially given that the class attr often
> contains multiple values in places.
> Also, it would be hard to go back and fix the large number of
> HTML $(> started assuming that class="nav" was the site navbar --- you
> would get confused by other uses of class="nav" and likely think
> them to be navbars. Better to rely in such cases on honestly
> authored information --- rather than double-guessing.

Agreed on all accounts.

I was however curious how you feel about microformats adding new role
values. Do you think that is appropriate? Or should they stick to
attributes dedicated to microformats, such as the microdata attributes
and RDFa.

/ Jonas

-- 
Best Regards,
--raman

Title:  Research Scientist      
Email:  raman@google.com
WWW:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/
Google: tv+raman 
GTalk:  raman@google.com, tv.raman.tv@gmail.com
PGP:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/raman-almaden.asc
Received on Thursday, 10 September 2009 23:33:03 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Saturday, 9 October 2021 18:44:56 UTC