[whatwg] Dynamic content accessibility in HTML today

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 12 19:56:34 PDT 2006

James Graham wrote:
> Matthew Raymond wrote:
>>    What Firefox is doing for DHTML accessibility has a very narrow use
>> case. It applies to DHTML widgets, that are not bound to fallback markup
>> using XBL [...]
> Without commenting (yet!) on the rest of this thread, I should just note 
> that any argument that relies on the near-future widespread deployment 
> of XBL is unconvincing. I would be extremely surprised if the entire XBL 
> spec is easier to implement than some targeted extensions to HTML, 
> therefore we shouldn't use it as a justification any more than any other 
> unlikely to be implemented soon technology.

   Mozilla is committed to having XBL 2.0 implemented as early as
version 3.0 of Firefox. Apple's WebCore has source code specifically for
XBL, so it isn't unreasonable to think that XBL will eventually be
implemented for Safari and KHTML. Ian Hickson was an employee of Opera
during most of the development of the XBL 2.0 draft, and the joint
Mozilla-Opera position paper sent to the W3C talks about XBL, so there's
some reason to believe that they'll eventually support XBL as well. So,
chances are that only Microsoft won't have XBL 2.0 implemented within
the next couple of years.

   Still, you're right about ease of implementation. The |role|
attribute is easier to implement, but that |class| is even easier
because it's already there.

>> [...] where a proper CSS presentation for the users primary media is
>> not available [...]
> This is almost always the case on the real web.

   Yeah, the web masters are so lazy that they can't be bothered to add
accessibility via CSS, but they'll be working overtime putting in |role|
attributes using the correct predefined values.

/me rolls eyes.

>>    I don't see a significant difference between |role| and predefined
>> values for |class|.
> Oh and I'm allergic to predefined class values :)

   I would suggest a strong antihistamine whenever you use a microformat.

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