Tuesday, September 30, 2008

IE8, ARIA, Quirks?

Aaron revives an important issue in his recent post: Legacy defeats consistency in IE 8’s Web 2.0 accessibility effort.

Despite agreement that it would be great if web developers could have a consistent standard way of supporting WAI-ARIA, it looks like syntactically (at least) is out. Browser ARIA implementation (how events, semantics, and structure are exposed to platform API) consistency is yet to be determined. Thankfully there is a harmonization effort built around a shared wiki document: ARIA User Agent Implementors Guide. Please for the sake of all things good...

Aside: Currently "IE8 Standards Mode" is expected to be the "default mode", unless you add a meta tag: <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" /> or have a doctype that triggers quirks mode. What if you are building a DHTML widget library? What mode are you going to be in? What about mashups? More normalization... sigh... Does it always have to be this way?

Thanks for reading.


raw sausage said...

No wonder. HTML was designed to present content. Forcing how the content is rendered, and adding active resources, is plain abusing the technology.

David Bolter said...

@raw sausage: I'm sympathetic to your comment. ARIA exists simply to allow everyone access to experience this abuse ;)

Ethan Anderson said...

Bleh, you can post and remove, but not edit.

As I was saying:: raw sausage, that's crap. Web developers are the ones that care how their page renders. Not sticking to web standards is abusing /them/.

If the user cares, they'll use greasemonkey. ..actually, I take that back-- I care enough to stick to web standards compliant browsers... but if I /really/ cared, I'd use greasemonkey.