Accessible Rich Internet Applications Update

Gez Lemon and I had our core conversation at South by Southwest (SXSW) on Sunday, and it went really well. No wonder, we had Shawn Henry from W3C WAI in the audience as well as Lisa Pappas who is one of the authors or WAI ARIA, plus Becky Gibson from IBM who initiated the whole thing with Rich Schwerdtfeger a couple of years ago.

Also ARIA became a bit of a buzz since only three days before Microsoft announced support for it in Internet Explorer 8. So there is partial support in Firefox 1.5, more in Firefox 2.0, and full support including liveregions for dynamically updated content in Firefox 3.0. Also Opera 9.5 has it. It can be used today as it doesn’t break old browsers, they will simply ignore the new attributes. Don’t hesitate, you can do good with it right now.

In the meantime Aaron Leventhal and his fellows were busy negotiating with members of the HTML5 working group to find a way of implementation without namespacing. So as of Firefox 3.0 it will be <img role="checkbox" aria-checked="false" /> instead of the previous namespaced notation aaa:checked="false".

Microsoft also thought about addressing the new attributes in the DOM, alas they did it the old proprietary way instead of sitting at a virtual or real table with the other browser vendors and thinking of a common way to do this. Opera’s Anne van Kesteren and the participants at the Browser Wars panel at SXSW were picking heavily on that subject. I believe the IE team got the message, but for the moment I would suggest to ignore the non-standard DOM attributes.

Thanks again to Gez, Becky, Lisa, and Shawn for their input and help. You made this a first-class experience!

Further reading

One Response to ‘Accessible Rich Internet Applications Update’

  1. protofunc() » Start Using Accessible JavaScript

    […] Mozilla hat bereits mit Firefox 1.5 eine inzwischen veraltete und mit Firefox 3 ├â┬╝berarbeitete Implementierung begonnen (zu dem unterschiedlichen Support in den Browsern: Accessible Rich Internet Applications Update, SXSW 2008). Gleichzeitig besteht in folgenden […]