Re: ARIA roles added to the a element should be conforming in HTML5.

hi maciej,
>I think <button> is pretty consistently fully stylable cross-browser
(unlike, say, <input type="button">).
This is really incidental to the issue being discussed, most, if not all
html elements can be scripted and styled in a way that overides their native
If this is allowed, then it follows that the addition of ARIA roles
should not result in a conformance error, as the addition of ARIA is
incidental to the developers intention to overide the native semantics. If
the addition of scripted behavior and styling to overide element
semantics is a testable conformance error in HTML5 then I would agree that
the addition of an ARIA role should also be, my understanding that it is

2009/10/21 Maciej Stachowiak <>

> On Oct 21, 2009, at 12:37 AM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 12:17 AM, Steven Faulkner
>> <> wrote:
>>> Currently the a element is defined in the HTML5 specification as an
>>> element
>>> that cannot have its native role overriden by ARIA roles [1]
>>> This is contrary to use in the wild as it has been overriden by the
>>> addition
>>> of a number of roles in popular javascript UI libraries.
>>> Examples:
>>> button
>>> tab
>>> menutiem
>>> It is important to understand that it is not ARIA that is making the link
>>> into a button, its the developers use of javascript, event handlers and
>>> CSS
>>> that is making it look and act like a button or tab or menutiem. The
>>> addition of ARIA is merely providing the information that other users get
>>> by
>>> default. So making the addition of an ARIA role non conforming, to an
>>> element that has been designed to act and look like something other than
>>> its
>>> native role, is not the appropriate repsonse.
>> Wouldn't it be better for these sites to use a <button> element
>> instead? Or maybe they currently "can't" because you can't style a
>> button enough to give it the desired rendering.
> I think <button> is pretty consistently fully stylable cross-browser
> (unlike, say, <input type="button">).
>  - Maciej

with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium |
Web Accessibility Toolbar -

Received on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 08:45:39 UTC