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.