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[role module] is 'must take Curie values' a problem for WAI-ARIA embedding in HTML?

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 21:12:24 -0400
Message-Id: <595A3567-2EA3-48B9-AF91-2F5B0A1C7D1A@IEEE.org>
To: www-html-editor@w3.org

[re-send.  Originally mis-posted as
   -Al ]

Re: http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/WD-xhtml-role-20080407/

This is a personal comment.  It is a concern about a possible problem,
not the assertion of a sure problem.

WAI-ARIA has a dependency on the role attribute module, or at least
has a dependency on the host language affording a suitable @role  
for which our roles are attribute values.

The Role Attribute module has been relaxed to allow a variety of ways
that the @role attribute is introduced into a host language or document.

But it appears to require that in any host language the  
implementation of this
attribute takes as its value

  one or more whitespace separated CURIEs
[CURIE] http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/WD-xhtml-role-20080407/#ref_CURIE

Curies are new and progressing down the Rec track behind the Role  
Module.  This would seem to be in reverse of the dependency-induced  
as the Role Attribute has a dependency in this way on Curies.

In addition, because of the way that WAI-ARIA roles adjust element  
role values carry a connotation of language extension; and Curies  
expand to
URIs which could indicate totally uncoordinated, crowd-sourced  
language extension.

The latter could be regarded as undesirable for the maintenance of  
HTML, the
central format of the One Web.

I am unclear how much saying that @role is a list of Curies means  
that the
processor must process in accordance with the URIs that the Curies  

It would seem to me that WAI-ARIA needs host languages to respect the  
@role values
set out in the http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml/vocab# vocabulary when  
these values
appear un-prefixed as tokens (items in the space-separated list) in  
the @role value.
What WAI-ARIA may need in terms of support for role extension is not  
known at this
time.  We have a working decision that role extension will not be  
addressed in

In that sense, ARIA has a dependency on @role but does not need @role  
to have
the dependency on Curies.  And there is a chance that cross-host- 
language support
for @role could be impeded by the dependency on curies.

That's my nervousness.  We will be talking about this more as we work  
to tighten up
the WAI-ARIA specification as it deals with host language insertion.   
But I
was told to put it on record as a Last Call comment for the Role  
Attribute Module
because it touches that specification which is already s/in/past it's  
Last Call.


Received on Friday, 6 June 2008 01:13:10 UTC

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