[whatwg] ARIA

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Aug 21 22:29:47 PDT 2009

On Thu, 28 Feb 2008, Dave Hodder wrote:
> The current HTML 5 draft doesn't mention ARIA anywhere.  Perhaps it 
> should clarify the relationship (or non-relationship as it is at 
> present), even if it's only a brief mention in section 1.1.

There's a section on it now.

On Fri, 29 Feb 2008, James Graham wrote:
> 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.

The answer is now "it does not". ARIA doesn't appear to have enough 
expressive power to be affected by the outline algorithm much, either 
(it's intended for authors, so there's no way to express the nested 
implied sections with it).

On Fri, 7 Mar 2008, Simon Pieters wrote:
> 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.)

I don't really see how to solve this issue from HTML5's side.

On Fri, 7 Mar 2008, Aaron Leventhal wrote:
> [...] On the other hand for the "landmark" roles which specify semantics 
> but not behavior, I would agree that sticking with HTML elements is a 
> better approach. Even if there is associated behavior for them, such as 
> a hotkey, they will degrade well to older user agents.

Should I just say that you can't use these landmark roles on elements from 
HTML5 then?

On Fri, 7 Mar 2008, James Graham wrote:
> OK, but we still need to specify what happens when they are used. To 
> take the aria-role="heading" example again, I believe it's a requirement 
> that a page that uses that has the same outline structure when viewed 
> using a tool that uses an accessibility API as it does when viewed 
> through a tool that accesses the DOM directly.

I don't know how to achieve this.

On Tue, 11 Mar 2008, Aaron Leventhal wrote:
> In general these are great questions. The question as I understand it, 
> should the spec spell out which role & properties you get naturally with 
> an HTML element, so an author knows if they even need to override them 
> with ARIA in the first place?

I've done that.

> > Therefore
> > 
> > <input type=checkbox role=button>

This is non-conforming now, but will result in the element appearing to AT 
users as a regular button. (And I guess the user gets really confused if 
they try to activate it.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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