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Re: ARIA use in HTML other than for accessibility.

From: Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>
Date: Tue, 12 May 2015 08:06:27 -0500
Message-ID: <CAOk_reHZFUNHToB=SS5NY82iSEQ=2qq_SDtWN=O-tTMVrgpAfw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi>
Cc: "Michael[tm] Smith" <mike@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
On Tue, May 12, 2015 at 6:35 AM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi> wrote:

> On Sat, May 2, 2015 at 6:28 PM, Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com> wrote:
> >> > I appreciate that there are some in the HTML community who feel that
> the
> >> > use of values for @role should be constrained.
> >>
> >> It’s not just “some in the HTML community”—it’s the as-defined HTML
> >> language which is making those constraints, as documented in the HTML
> >> spec.
> >
> >
> > I know.  And I also know it was a vocal few who made this happen, and
> that
> > the PFWG rolled over and agreed because they had little choice.  That
> > doesn't make it right.  It just makes it the status quo.
> The PFWG is supposed to work on accessibility and not Semantics.
> As for "making it right", the W3C closed down the XHTML2 Working
> Group. I think this should be taken as a rejection of the vision of
> the XHTML2 Working Group, including for the role attribute and RDFa,
> instead rehashing the same ideas over and over in other working
> groups, such as the HTML WG or the PFWG.

Actually, no.  When the XHTML2 Working Group was closed, the Role Attribute
and RDFa were both handed off to other activities where they were
completed.  I am pretty sure RDFa was split off even before the whole
HTML5/XHTML2 nonsense went down.  Regardless, those specs were completed
and are not in active use.  Yay!

> I agree with Steve and Mike that there is value in not confusing the
> purpose of the role attribute with non-accessibility scope creep. It's
> already hard enough to get Web authors to use ARIA correctly when the
> syntax is not overloaded with other concerns. I think ARIA doesn't
> need to be strictly restricted to communicating with assistive
> technologies that are logically separate from the browser itself--I
> think it's OK to implement e.g. "go to [landmark]" functionality by
> other means also, such as keyboard shortcuts or visual browser chrome.

I maintain that there is no confusion.  @role has been and continues to be
about semantics.  Those semantics inform *interpretation* and *behavior*.
That's *exactly* what it was supposed to have done.  Everyone wins.

P.S.  YAGNI?  Really?  While you might not need it, I bet search engines do
(cough schema.org cough).  Or content aggregators.  Or knowledge engines.

Shane McCarron
Managing Director, Applied Testing and Technology, Inc.
Received on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 13:06:56 UTC

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