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.

3 comments:

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.