Re: Context of the main element

On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 6:19 PM, Bruce Lawson <> wrote:

> On Thu, 31 Jan 2013 18:08:37 -0000, Cameron Jones <>
> wrote:
>  It should probably also be noted that by recommending authors to markup
>> "main" content using a potentially ambiguous and indeterminate element
>> instead of a distinct role="main" attribute, this element could harm web
>> accessibility through the effective obsoletion of deterministic
>> functionality.
> <main> would be exactly the same as role=main.
There is of course equal scope for potential misuse of role="main" as there
is for <main>, however when the only purpose of role="main" is for
accessibility the scope for misuse would be intentional and not accidental.

> I believe that web accessibility should have one clear voice - you should
> explicitly use ARIA for accessibility markup.

I diagree. It sends the message that accessiblity is an add-on. Where
> possible it should be build in to the native language, and ARIA only be
> used where it's not built in.
> The ARIA spec says as much: "It is expected that, over time, host
> languages will evolve to provide semantics for objects that currently can
> only be declared with WAI-ARIA. This is natural and desirable, as one goal
> of WAI-ARIA is to help stimulate the emergence of more semantic and
> accessible markup. When native semantics for a given feature become
> available, it is appropriate for authors to use the native feature and stop
> using WAI-ARIA for that feature. Legacy content may continue to use
> WAI-ARIA, however, so the need for user agents to support WAI-ARIA
> remains."**introduction#co-evolution<>
I believe that an idealistic 100% coverage of all possible accessibility
requirements is unachievable due to the non-proportional relationship
between document semantics and application behavior.

Document semantics and user accessibility are not the same thing and never
will be. Trying to squeeze one into the other is, as i stated, a derision
of the needs of users who require assistance and their needs should be
given equal importance to that which is given to graphical accessibility.
By squeezing every possible ARIA attribute into HTML you are sending a
message that accessibility is an inconvenience that you would rather not
have to bother with.

I believe that HTML semantics should be driven by document structure and
not a misguided approach to an overly simplistic form of web accessibility.

Cameron Jones

Received on Thursday, 31 January 2013 18:46:20 UTC