role cardinality [was: Re: ARIA Proposal ]

At 6:56 PM +0200 26 09 2007, Simon Pieters wrote:
>Not so long ago a proposal was posted to public-html and wai-xtech 
>for a way to make ARIA work in HTML:
>I have over the past few days with help from Aaron Leventhal and 
>others written up a draft for how this should work. The goals and 
>constraints we had when writing the proposal were:
>   * It should be possible to use in both (X)HTML and other vocabularies
>     without the need for scripting.
>   * The processing should be the same for both HTML and XHTML.
>   * It should be possible to author new content that works in Firefox 2.
>   * The number of different possible ways to use ARIA should be minimized,
>     and include only variations that are necessary.
>   * The proposal should be directly implementable in Firefox 3 and Opera
>     9.5.
>The proposal is available at:
>The latest version is available at:
>Comments welcome.

I used the latter URI; sampled with an HTTP response quoting a 
last-changed date of

* only one role value is a problem

The processing of only one 'role' value together with the definitive 
"this is how
these attributes are to be processed" present a problem.

Yes, the WAI-ARIA 1.0 proposition has in it the design guideline that
only one of the ARIA roles will be present in the role attribute for
any given element.

a) this has been regarded as a temporary limitation that could be
relaxed in the future.
b) this specifically allowed for there to be both an ARIA 'menu' role
and an XHTML 'navigation' role on the same element. In other words,
there are use cases for mixing and matching the roles from the two
vocabularies. Dumping the XHTML role values into the ARIA namespace
and then limiting to one is not the same functionality.

* forward reference to HTML5 for the definition of 'token' in the
list-of-tokens value for the role attribute is a problem.

* possible way out of the problem

Make the specification a little more of a selector-based rule. That
is to say, define the space of attributes (as now) and the
'first-found from [limited range of sources, maybe only the ARIA
roles]' query and then say that values so found are to be processed
as described here.

Don't say "other attributes are not to be processed in this way." Do
say "the processing of other attributes, and subsequent tokens found
in these attributes, is not given, not constrained by this proposal."

Can the browsers live with this?

In addition..

* forward reference to HTML5 for the definition of 'token' in the
list-of-tokens value for the role attribute is a problem.  Provide
a syntax and state your intention to track the development of
this syntax in HTML5 should it change.  A note/link to explain why
an established token syntax is not sufficient would help, too.


>Simon Pieters
>Opera Software

Received on Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:55:36 UTC