Tuesday, March 18, 2008

aria-templateid explained

PLEASE NOTE: some time after this post, aria-templateid was removed from the draft specification by the W3C.

I wondered when an aria-templateid might be used so I asked Richard Schwerdtfeger.

Rich enlightened me using Gmail as an example, whereby Google could define a unique template ID URL such as:
aria-templateid="google.com/gmail".
Whenever an assistive technology (AT) sees this template ID it can provide customization to improve the UX. For example, a screen reader like JAWS or Orca could load a script for adding keystrokes to open the Gmail inbox etc. If another web product embeds Gmail the AT can still pick up the the template id and apply some customization.

Thanks Rich. This rocks.

Maybe what's most cool about aria-templateid is that we can think about tackling web accessibility in innovative new ways via customization.

Could we now essentially "Greasemonkey" the interactive DHTML web space, including mashups, for accessibility? I'll try to post my thoughts on this in the near future.

Well, that's enough for now. Thanks for reading.

13 comments:

David Bolter said...

Aside: I remember writing a JAWS script for SoftQuad's HoTMetaL in the 90's... or was it called Panorama still back then? Wow I think that was my first day at the ATRC.

Clearly, per-application AT scripting has been around a long time. In the world of mashups (of web "application" combinations) I imagine DOM focus could trigger the loading and unloading of customization scripts keyed off of aria-templateid.

Hixie said...

I wonder what happens if I set aria-templateid="google.com/gmail" on my blog...

steve faulkner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve faulkner said...

try again with correct spelling...
Ian said:
"I wonder what happens if I set aria-templateid="google.com/gmail" on my blog"

Guess it depends on what properties are set for the templateid. Presumably there will be the opportunity (in the AT) to override any site/app specific settings as there is this option available now (in AT that I know of) for application specific settings. Can't see it being a major issue anyway as a major use case for templateid (I envisage) will be in distributed web based applications.

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David Bolter said...

Please note aria-templateid was since removed from the draft standard.

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