[whatwg] A plea to Hixie to adopt <main>
faulkner.steve at gmail.com
Wed Nov 7 06:53:45 PST 2012
> I generally markup pages using ARIA roles:
> <header role=banner>
> <article role=main>
> <footer role=contentinfo>
> and variations thereafter—
> If there were to be a <main> attribute (with an implicit ARIA role to
> match), where would it end? <contentinfo> <banner> ?
> What is to be gained by adding an element, rather than using ARIA roles?
> Isn't that what ARIA is designed for?
various new HTML elements are already being mapped to ARIA or platform
<aside> is mapped to complementary ( IA2, AT-SPI and AX)
<article> is mapped to article ( IA2, AT-SPI and AX)
<nav> is mapped to navigation ( IA2, AT-SPI and AX)
<header>/<footer> are mapped to banner and conteninfo ( IA2, AT-SPI and AX)
this means when fuly implemented authors will not have to add aria roles
(built in vs bolt-on) the browsers do it already.
ARIA roles are used because the semantics are not fully implemented in
If you take the time to read the spec  and supporting research you will
find the rationale and use cases detailed. Its based on commont authoring
On 08/11/2012, at 1:23 AM, "Simon Pieters" <simonp at opera.com> wrote:
> My impression from TPAC is that implementors are on board with the idea
of adding <main> to HTML, and we're left with Hixie objecting to it.
> Hixie's argument is, I think, that the use case that <main> is intended
to address is already possible by applying the Scooby-Doo algorithm, as
James put it -- remove all elements that are not main content, <header>,
<aside>, etc., and you're left with the main content.
> I think the Scooby-Doo algorithm is a heuristic that is not reliable
enough in practice, since authors are likely to put stuff outside the main
content that do not get filtered out by the algorithm, and vice versa.
> Implementations that want to support a "go to main content" or "highlight
the main content", like Safari's Reader Mode, or whatever it's called, need
to have various heuristics for detecting the main content, and is expected
to work even for pages that don't use any of the new elements. However, I
think using <main> as a way to opt out of the heuristic works better than
using <aside> to opt out of the heuristic. For instance, it seems
reasonable to use <aside> for a pull-quote as part of the main content, and
you don't want that to be excluded, but the Scooby-Doo algorithm does that.
> If there is anyone besides from Hixie who objects to adding <main>, it
would be useful to hear it.
> Simon Pieters
> Opera Software
Technical Director - TPG
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