W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > May 2015

Re: ARIA use in HTML other than for accessibility.

From: Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>
Date: Mon, 4 May 2015 11:28:47 -0500
Message-ID: <CAOk_reF6QKP1SHbK8CcWw+Asj4QcLsVFMYKs0U9hyN0mTqdG0A@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "W3C WAI Protocols & Formats" <public-pfwg@w3.org>, HTML A11Y TF Public <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
On Mon, May 4, 2015 at 11:20 AM, Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>

> On 04/05/2015 17:08, Shane McCarron wrote:
>  But here's a corollary:  Role use in HTML makes sense when it results in
>> concrete improvements in the consumer experience.  Any time I can inform
>> a consumer about the purpose of something in a way that is semantically
>> meaningful, that's a win.  Isn't it convenient that there is such
>> serendipity between these two concepts?  I use @role values to signal
>> information to the WAI-ARIA implementation in the UA and in the AT.  I
>> *also* can use @role values to tell the UA things that have nothing to
>> do with WAI-ARIA per se, but have everything to do with making
>> information about my content available.  @role="glossary", if the term
>> "glossary" were well defined, would tell a document processor where my
>> glossary was.  An aggregator could pull together all of the glossaries
>> from all over the place and make the terms and references available in
>> ways you or I have not yet imagined.  If that value *also* happens to be
>> a WAI-ARIA value that is known to the UA, and has a parent of "region"
>> and various other attributes, it could improve the user experience too!
> The one danger I can see here is that if role gets extended to allow an
> almost arbitrary number of values, and those values are not very clearly
> defined,  it'll be no different from using, say, classnames to attempt to
> define semantics (a la microformats) - and if a specific vocabulary is not
> enforced, and authors can potentially extend role arbitrarily, then we'll
> simply see a wealth of custom-use values that will be completely
> non-interoperable.
Absolutely!  This is why the W3C and the PFWG have control of the default
vocabulary space.  We have and are extending strong rules for how those
terms are created and connected to the existing taxonomy.  As to additional
vocabulary spaces, the Role Attribute recommendation requires that any new
vocabularies be defined in a way that makes them (at least) machine
discoverable.  While this not enforceable outside of the standards
community, anyone who wants their vocabulary terms to be used in the
greater context of the "semantic web" is going to follow those rules.

Shane McCarron
Managing Director, Applied Testing and Technology, Inc.
Received on Monday, 4 May 2015 16:29:17 UTC

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