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RE: Usage of the @role attribute (Fwd: IDPF event at Salon du livre)

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2013 10:15:14 -0700
To: "'Edward O'Connor'" <eoconnor@apple.com>, <www-archive@w3.org>
Cc: <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <049c01ce3545$cda744b0$68f5ce10$@ca>
Edward O'Connor wrote:
> Hi Ivan,
> You wrote:
> > [W]hether the @role attribute could be used in EPUB3.01 to replace
> the
> > current idpf:type attribute for, say, glossary items.
> While it's true that the original XHTML2 Role Attribute Module was
> intended to be a generally extensible metadata attribute, the WAI-ARIA
> role="" attribute in HTML is only intended to provide information to
> the accessibility layer,

Two points of clarification: WAI-ARIA is actually host-language agnostic,
and can be used (in principle) with any mark-up language; for example it has
been "added" to SVG2

As well, while it is true that currently ARIA attribute values are being
mapped / passed through to the Accessibility APIs by the browsers, there is
nothing that forbids those user-agents from doing more with those values -
and in fact the Candidate Recommendation says just that: 

	"The WAI-ARIA specification neither requires or forbids user agents
from enhancing native presentation and interaction behaviors on the basis of
WAI-ARIA markup. Mainstream user agents might expose WAI-ARIA navigational
landmarks (for example, as a dialog box or through a keyboard command) with
the intention to facilitate navigation for all users. User agents are
encouraged to maximize their usefulness to users, including users without
Source: http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/introduction#ua-support 

> and should not be used as a general extension
> point. For general metadata extensions, there are several other
> solutions, namely Microformats, Microdata, and RDFa.

Whether or not the @role attribute should be used as another MetaData
extension as well is (in my opinion) worth discussing, if for no other
reason than to further explore a continued convergence between
"accessibility" and main-stream mark-up practices (which *should* be the
same thing, but often is not perceived as such).

Received on Tuesday, 9 April 2013 17:15:51 UTC

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