[whatwg] A plea to Hixie to adopt <main>

Simon Pieters simonp at opera.com
Wed Nov 7 07:08:35 PST 2012

On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 15:35:31 +0100, Ben Schwarz <ben.schwarz at gmail.com>  

> I generally markup pages using ARIA roles:
> <header role=banner>
> <article role=main>
> <footer role=contentinfo>

There is an implicit mapping already.

> and variations thereafter—
> If there were to be a <main> attribute (with an implicit ARIA role to  
> match), where would it end?

It ends at <main> since that's the last landmark lacking an element.

> <contentinfo> <banner> ?

The are called <footer> and <header>.

> What is to be gained by adding an element, rather than using ARIA roles?

The gain is better ergonomics and more likelihood of getting accessible  
pages by people using the elements without doing extra work to cater for  

> Isn't that what ARIA is designed for?

The role and state part of ARIA was designed to be a stop-gap solution to  
make JS-based Web applications accessible in a way that would work in  
legacy IE with modern AT. The landmark part of ARIA was designed to do the  
same thing as the new elements in HTML. IIRC, landmarks were kept instead  
of embracing the new elements because the elements were specified in a  
document that was not expected to be finished in two decades whereas ARIA  
was expected to be finished in a much shorter time frame. That we would  
end up having both was not seen as a showstopper for either group.

Simon Pieters
Opera Software

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