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ARIA's relationship to the Role Module

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2008 16:37:03 +0100
To: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, public-xhtml2@w3.org
Cc: wai-liaison@w3.org
Message-Id: <20080709153458.M68887@hicom.net>

aloha, all!

in discussing the Role Module's transition to CR at today's XHTML2
WG call (http://www.w3.org/2008/07/09-xhtml-minutes.html#item04),
the issue of implementations of the Role module arose...  i cited 
ARIA as an extension of the Role Module, but then noticed that 
Section 2.1 of ARIA 1.0 states:

<q cite="http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria/#Using_intro">
An ARIA role is set on an element using the a role attribute similar 
to the one defined in the XHTML Role Attribute Module [XHTML-ROLES].

<div role = "checkbox">

The roles defined in this specification include a collection of 
document landmarks and the ARIA role taxonomy. 

why similar?  didn't we derive our syntax from the extensibility 
rules defined by the XHTML Role Module?  are we saying that we 
are using a pseudo-role syntax or a syntax extended from the XHTML 
Role Module?

again, in Section 4.2.4. "Inherited states and properties" is found
the following:

<q cite="http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria/#inheritedState">
Informative list of properties that are inherited onto a role from 
ancestor roles. States and properties are inherited from ancestor 
roles in the role taxonomy, not from ancestor elements in the DOM 
tree. These properties are not explicitly defined on the role, as 
the inheritance of properties is automatic. This information is 
provided to facilitate reading of the specification. Inherited states 
and properties that are required are indicated as such in this field 
as well. The set of supported states and properties combined with 
inherited states and properties forms the full set of states and 
properties supported by the role.

the references to "role" in the excerpt from 4.2.4 treats role as a 
pure abstraction, without reference to the XHTML Role Module -- is 
this an intentional change?  

this seems contradictory to Section 4.2.6. "Landmark Roles Inherited 
from the XHTML Role Attribute Module"

<q cite="http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria/#roles">
This section includes roles imported from the XHTML Role Attribute 
Module [XHTML-ROLES, Section 4]. These roles are included here in order 
to make them clearly part of the ARIA Role taxonomy. Role descriptions 
are taken from the description provided in the XHTML Role Attribute 

Roles in this section include:

    * article
    * banner
    * complementary
    * contentinfo
    * main
    * navigation
    * search

i have noticed, as well, that references to the XHTML Role Module, 
appear under "related concepts" in ARIA definitions, not as extensions

all of which raises the question: is ARIA no longer an extension of the 
XHTML Role Module?  has it simply swallowed the XHTML Role Module's 
predefined roles so that they are complimentary to ARIA roles, rather 
than dependent on the XHTML Role Module?

i would appreciate the opportunity to have these questions clarified, 
and for PF to share such clarification with the XHTML2 WG

thank you, gregory.
It is better to ask some of the questions than to know 
all the answers.                      -- James Thurber
Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
         Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus
Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus
Received on Wednesday, 9 July 2008 15:37:40 UTC

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