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

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Wed Nov 7 07:10:05 PST 2012

2012-11-07 16:53, Steve Faulkner wrote:

> ARIA roles are used because the semantics are not fully implemented in
> browsers yet.

It's a bit more complicated than that, isn't it? ARIA roles are also, 
and originally, meant for describing the meaning of elements that are 
used in "rich Internet applications" in a manner that cannot be deduced 
from the HTML markup. For example, if you set up a <span> element that 
acts as a checkbox, driven by JavaScript and formatted with CSS to look 
like a checkbox, then the ARIA role attribute is needed to inform 
browsers and assistive software about this.

Besides, many distinctions that can be made with ARIA roles cannot be 
described in HTML as currently defined. But that's not a big issue 
really, and it does not mean that corresponding elements should be added 
to HTML. ARIA has its role (no pun intended), and software that can 
currently handle role="foo" would really benefit nothing from the 
introduction of a <foo> element. It would be just some new stuff that 
should be supported in addition to existing support.

So the existence of something as an ARIA role value does not imply that 
a correspoding element should be added to HTML if not already present 
there. But neither does it constitute a counterargument to adding new 


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