[whatwg] Dynamic content accessibility in HTML today

Charles McCathieNevile chaals at opera.com
Thu Aug 24 10:44:47 PDT 2006

On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 19:36:53 +0200, James Graham <jg307 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> Matthew Raymond wrote:
> So [snip]ping lots of stuff that is kinda interesting but not in a very  
> relevant way.
>>    The language of the |role| specification is actually unclear. The
>> intro indicates that |role| can be used to "describe the semantic
>> meaning" of elements, while Section 3 says the following:
>>     "It is used by applications and assistive technologies to determine
>> the purpose of UI widgets."
> OK, I think I hadn't appreciated just how vague the W3C document is. I  
> propose we standardise the following:
> A role attribute which may appear on (only non-semantic?) elements to  
> indicate that that element is part of a DHTML widget and not marked-up  
> prose. The role attribute would not be namespaced (in HTML5, in  
> XHTML5... well who knows). The role attribute would take certain  
> predefined values (not those on the W3C page which are largely useless,  
> e.g. banner, or otherwise covered in HTML5, e.g. navlist) corresponding  
> to the various types of UI widgets understood by the accessibility  
> toolkits. As far as possible we would stick to whatever Firefox  
> currently implements, but we would simplify the syntax where necessary  
> (e.g. avoid qnames wherever possible). Values outside the predefined  
> list would make the document non-conforming.
> Does that sound reasonable or have I totally missed the point?

About right except there is a mechanism in the W3C work for adding new  
values, which don't make it non-conforming. Given that people are pretty  
inventive, I think that is quite valuable. YMMV

And it can appear on any element, although there is not much point adding  
it to things that use well-defined semantics already.



   Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
   hablo español  -  je parle français  -  jeg lærer norsk
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