ARIA role: do not use namespaced role attribute on HTML elements

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ARIA role: do not use namespaced role attribute on HTML elements

Aaron Leventhal-3
Please change any ARIA content to use plain |role| instead of |xhtml:role| or
|xhtml2:role|. Do not use setAttributeNS() when setting the role -- you can
still use setAttribute() or add the role attribute directly in markup.
This note only applies to the role attribute, not the other ARIA properties.

Support for the namespaced role attribute is going to be removed. We are
simplifying ARIA to make it more palatable for other browsers to implement it,
and less confusing for authors.

If you need to be compatible with Firefox 2, do:
<div role="wairole:menuitem" aaa:checked="true">  <!-- In FF2 still use
setAttributeNS() for aaa:checked -->

If Firefox 3 support is good enough for you, do:
<div role="menuitem" aria-checked="true">  <!-- In FF3 all of ARIA can be
declared directly in markup-->
Firefox 3 is scheduled to be shipped by January.

Notice that in both cases you use |role|, and not |xhtml:role| or |xhtml2:role|
The hardcoded "wairole:" prefix for the role value is still available for use in
text/html, but is no longer required in Firefox 3. The WAI roles can now be
accessed directly without a prefix.

- Aaron

Aaron Leventhal
IBM web accessibility architect
Mozilla accessiblity lead
http://www.mozilla.org/access
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Re: ARIA role: do not use namespaced role attribute on HTML elements

Jason White
On Tue, Sep 25, 2007 at 12:43:37PM -0400, Aaron Leventhal wrote:
> Please change any ARIA content to use plain |role| instead of |xhtml:role| or
> |xhtml2:role|. Do not use setAttributeNS() when setting the role -- you can
> still use setAttribute() or add the role attribute directly in markup.
> This note only applies to the role attribute, not the other ARIA properties.
>
> Support for the namespaced role attribute is going to be removed. We are
> simplifying ARIA to make it more palatable for other browsers to implement it,
> and less confusing for authors.

Doesn't that break XML compatibility? In any XML document, I should be able to
declare the XHTML namespace with whatever prefix I choose (according to
Namespaces in XML) and use that prefix to refer to the ROLE attribute.

I don't understand how an XML implementation can conform to the Namespaces
Recommendation and fail to support prefix:role for any prefix declared with
the appropriate namespace URI.
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Re: ARIA role: do not use namespaced role attribute on HTML elements

Aaron Leventhal-3
In reply to this post by Aaron Leventhal-3
Jason White wrote:
>> Support for the namespaced role attribute is going to be removed. We are
>> simplifying ARIA to make it more palatable for other browsers to implement it,
>> and less confusing for authors.
>
> Doesn't that break XML compatibility? In any XML document, I should be able to
> declare the XHTML namespace with whatever prefix I choose (according to
> Namespaces in XML) and use that prefix to refer to the ROLE attribute.

Sorry, I was talking about its use in HTML, and should have said that. That's
still by far the main use case.

When using it in XML (such as XUL or SVG), you can still declare the xhtml
namespace and use the role attribute from there. I'm working with Opera to
formalize the proposal and will post it here and on wai-xtech for feedback. So
you will have ample time to catch any errors on our part.

- Aaron
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