Norman Walsh & Robin Berjon (think this were the words of Robin) on 
native HTML accessibility versus ARIA + CSS + XML, at XMLPrague last 
week: [1]

]] 2.3. The Accessibility of XML
        Theoretically, accessibility of XML should be at least as good, 
perhaps better than HTML because the opportunity exists for expressing 
richer semantics in the document. In practice, this is utterly wrong. 
Had XML become widespread on the web, languages for mapping 
accessibility onto XML documents could have been developed. Since it 
didn't, they weren't and the result is that HTML documents have much 
greater accessibility because so much is known in advance about the 
semantics of the elements.
Perhaps ARIA and CSS would provide a framework for building some 
accessibility into XML on the web, but it's not likely to be sufficient 
for the more complex cases. 

If these words are true, why are we then trying to ARIA-fy everything 
related to HTML accessibility? In particular, why remove native 
features? How can Jonas be right when he claims that it will be simpler 
to be able to say "just use ARIA" as opposed to "use @longdesc for 
<img> and @summary for table and …" ? (I noted that Rich Schwerdtfeger 
from the ARIA community once last year said a similar thing: that ARIA 
in the long run could take over even for @alt.)


Leif Halvard Silli

Received on Monday, 13 February 2012 13:33:17 UTC