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

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 12:02:23 +0100
Message-ID: <640dd5060909130402u24d0c2c0j2e5b66e7d39c7f86@mail.gmail.com>
To: "T.V Raman" <raman@google.com>
Cc: jfoliot@stanford.edu, hober0@gmail.com, tai@g5n.co.uk, public-html@w3.org
Hi Raman,

I would also like to throw in my own "for the record" comment, if I may. :)

You may recall that when I joined you in working on your @role module,
the *only* change I made to your initial draft was to make the value
of the attribute into a list of URIs, rather than a list of simple

This was because I felt it was important that language concepts could
be defined using RDF, and the WAI-ARIA work is an example of this

I mention this, because this power -- hooking in to the world of RDF
-- is an additional argument, alongside the others that you rightly
mention, for using a new attribute, rather than overloading @class.



On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 9:46 PM, T.V Raman<raman@google.com> wrote:
> For the record, I originally created the @role module for XHTML
> because I  was frustrated with having to scrape content off of
> 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  pages that use  aclass value incorrectly --- e.g. say you
> 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.
> Edward O'Connor wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Toby wrote:
>> > Possibly @role could be re-used. (@role isn't just an ARIA attribute,
>> it's
>> > intended to be used in other ways too.)
>> You may be confusing ARIA's role="" attribute with the XHTML Role
>> Attribute Module. They are separate, distinct attributes. Insofar as the
>> current HTML5 draft goes, role=""'s sole use within HTML is for
>> specifying ARIA roles on elements.
> Confusing or remembering? Despite the general disdain held by large swaths
> of the HTML unwashed, there were some very good ideas inside of XHTML2 that
> got dumped, just like the proverbial baby in the bath-water - @role being
> one of them.
> ARIA's appropriation of the @role attribute was from XHTML2 for sure, but
> the *idea* that @role represents is a powerful one, and is exceedingly more
> powerful (and remember-able) than using the meaningless class attribute
> notation currently in vogue.  It *should* be considered more extensively,
> but we already can hear the moaning and growling from the peanut gallery
> (especially from the microformats camp).  Too bad really: consider the
> 'issue' with accesskeys and mapping to keyless devices or international
> keyboards... if, instead of mapping a key to a function/feature you could
> instead state a Role, then the user agent could handle the binding on its
> own terms, rather than on terms forced by the content author.
> JF
> --
> 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

Mark Birbeck, webBackplane



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Received on Sunday, 13 September 2009 11:03:07 UTC

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