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

Steve Faulkner faulkner.steve at gmail.com
Thu Nov 15 07:16:17 PST 2012

>> Con: Adding a <main> element adds redundancy to the [role="main"]
> I don't see why this is a con, if main is mapped to role=main in the
browser it means that authors won't have to. Also adding
aside/article/footer etc adds redundancy to the matching ARIA roles.

Redundancy tends to be a source of error if they get out of sync. If one
browser supports [role="main"] and another supports <main>, both would be
needed to provide compatibility. Obviously this is a bit contrived, as
browsers supporting <main> would likely also support [role="main"], but
older versions would not support <main> . Going forward, this would mean
that authors wanting to use <main> would have to use <main role="main"> for
backwards compatibility.

yes this is true, same goes for the other new elements today. I see little
issue with the redundancy though as the roles match the elements.

I could be wrong on this, but I was pretty certain that <article> and the
rest were supported by browsers before the ARIA roles model.

no - the majority of accessibility APIs did/do not have non ARIA based
roles specified for header/footer/article/aside etc
some APIs are adding roles based on ARIA (Mac AX, Iaccessible2 etc)

accessibility implementation in browsers for the semantics of these
elements is variable [1]

[1] http://www.html5accessibility.com/


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