[whatwg] Dynamic content accessibility in HTML today

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Mon Aug 14 06:36:40 PDT 2006

Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> On Mon, 14 Aug 2006 06:22:40 -0700, Aaron Leventhal 
> <aaronlev at moonset.net> wrote:
>> I like the role attribute because it's already usable in Mozilla, to 
>> make accessible web applications. What's the advantage of using 
>> class/appearance instead, if there is no browser already mapping this 
>> information to assistive technologies?
> The advantage is in using elements which already have the right 
> semantics. Those already work everywhere. Using XBL, 'appearance' and 
> perhaps class="" you can style them in the way you want not affecting 
> the actual semantics of the element and therefore keeping it accessible.

But XBL works with ~0 assistive technologies and is presumably going to be 
complex to implement properly. Whilst, in general, I agree that having elements 
used in the correct way to provide semantic information is desirable, I think 
that adopting a technology that is already implemented and proven to solve real 
problems is a better approach than waiting on a complex future specification to 
be finished and implemented.

"You see stars that clear have been dead for years
But the idea just lives on..." -- Bright Eyes

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