W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > September 2014

[whatwg] Removing ARIA mappings from the HTML standard in favor of a separate doc

From: Domenic Denicola <domenic@domenicdenicola.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2014 15:46:49 +0000
To: WHATWG <whatwg@whatwg.org>
Message-ID: <242b11608f884e91bef9a9792a92f32e@BN1PR05MB325.namprd05.prod.outlook.com>
Cc: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Over in [1] Steve proposes moving the UA requirements for accessibility mapping out of W3C HTML. The corresponding section in WHATWG HTML is [2].

Recently I tried to do implementer-ey things [3] but found the delineation between authoring and UA requirements in that section very confusing. So I am supportive of anything that clears that up.

In the replies to both [1] and [3] Steve points out that the HTML -> ARIA mappings given in [2] are not a complete description of how UAs expose HTML elements to accessibility technologies, and that the document at [4] is more accurate. (For example, he notes that <figcaption> is exposed as a caption to certain accessibility technologies, but there is no way of expressing that in ARIA.) So in addition to being confusing, I am not sure the content at [2] actually has any normative value; at the very least it is incomplete.

In the future I would like to work toward a system where HTML maps to ARIA, which maps to platform-specific accessibility stuff. So for example ARIA would grow to have a caption role, and <figcaption>'s accessibility aspects would be defined entirely by saying it has ARIA role caption. But apparently that is not the world we live in (yet?!), so I think [2] just confuses the issue by pretending that it is. In the meantime I think I agree with Steve that [4] seems to be a better place for implementers to consult.

Thus I think we should remove all UA requirements from [2] and instead refer to [4] as the authoritative source for UA requirements for accessibility in HTML.

I do not have a strong opinion on whether we should keep the authoring requirements of [2] intact or remove them as well. This is probably because I do not have a strong opinion about authoring requirements in general.

What do you think? I could very well be missing something; this world of accessibility specs is pretty new to me...

[1]: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2014Sep/0000.html
[2]: http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/dom.html#wai-aria
[3]: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapps/2014JulSep/0355.html
[4]: http://rawgit.com/w3c/aria/master/html-aam/html-aam.html
Received on Tuesday, 2 September 2014 15:47:19 UTC

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