[whatwg] ARIA

Simon Pieters simonp at opera.com
Fri Mar 7 00:58:21 PST 2008

On Fri, 07 Mar 2008 03:16:04 +0100, Aaron Leventhal <aaronlev at moonset.net>  

>> Unfortunately a brief mention is insufficient as aria functionality
>> overlaps substantially with HTML functionality and so processing
>> requirements for aria-in-html need to be carefully considered (so we can
>> answer questions like "how does <div aria-role='heading'> affect the
>> outline algorithm"). This has not yet happened.
> Okay, so I can speak to this. I developed first browser implementation  
> of ARIA -- the one in Firefox.
> ARIA doesn't really overlap with HTML, because ARIA only reports what a  
> JS developer is using elements for.
> So ARIA semantics should not affect  behavior. Any code for dealing with  
> ARIA markup should be strictly in the accessibility API support code  
> (MSAA/IAccessible2/ATK/AT-SPI/UI Automation/Universal Access).
> A div need not affect the outline algorithm, etc. any more than a div  
> does.

I would guess that it's the AT that would be the one to implement the  
outline algorithm. So if <div role=heading> is reported the same way as  
<h1> is, then <div role=heading> does affect the document outline in the  
AT the same way as <h1> affects the document outline.

Otherwise, what is the AT supposed to do with the "heading" if not put it  
in the list of headings? Surprise the user when he stumbles upon it and  
say "Oh snap, that's a heading right there! Didn't see that one coming."?  

(BTW, I would be fine with solving this particular issue by dropping  
"heading" from ARIA -- I don't see what problem it is trying to solve that  
<h1> doesn't.)

Simon Pieters
Opera Software

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