Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Role Attribute Module - years in the making

Way back in the olden days when we were developing XHTML Modularization and then XHTML2, the group recognized that there were lots of pieces of XHTML2 that were generally useful and that it should be possible to publish them separately.  The concept was that since these were modules they would be assembled by host language authors as needed, and then at some point pulled together into XHTML2.  Obviously XHTML2 never came to be, but a lot of the pieces did get worked on and pulled into other work (e.g., RDFa, Role, all sorts of stuff in HTML5 although no one will ever admit that).


Today I wanted to talk about the Role Attribute.  This piece of XHTML2 is a deceptively simple attribute.  It's purpose is to help content authors label an element with it's role or roles within a document. Why do elements have roles?  Well  - that's complicated.  First, some (more) history...

Sometimes W3C working groups have face to face meetings.  At one such meeting of the XHTML working group (at the AOL headquarters in Virginia I think) a group member was wearing their liaison hat between the XHTML working group and the group responsible for accessibility.  They REALLY wanted to be able to have sections of the document labeled so that assistive technologies (ATs) could more easily help people with various disabilities use the web more efficiently.  In particular, things like navigation areas, headers, footers, content, sidebars...  and of course controls.  The accessibility liaison thought it was important that we define a base collection of roles, but also that it be possible to dynamically extend that collection of roles easily. The group thought this was a fine idea, and added the role attribute to XHTML2.  The base collection has been modified over time - you can see its current form in the Vocabulary Document.

Fast forward to today.  The W3C has today published the Role Attribute as a Candidate Recommendation.  A lot has happened in the W3C community since we started work on this simple attribute, but the basic form of the Role Attribute and its capabilities has not changed much at all.  There is an attribute named 'role'.  It takes a list of zero or more values.  These values are either pre-defined TERMs (the things in that vocabulary document), a URI, or a CURIE (a CURIE is a compact URI - a concept defined by RDFa Core).  Assistive Technologies can use the values of role, in conjunction with other information from the ARIA Attributes, to more-or-less automatically make pages more accessible. RDFa processors can use the information in role attributes to automatically learn more about the semantics of a page.


This specification is stable now.  The attribute works in all modern user agents now.  It's values are interpreted by many assistive technologies already.  It is already supported by some RDFa processors, with more on the way.  Even though the W3C says people shouldn't rely upon stuff in Candidate Recommendations because they might not be fully cooked yet, I say go for it.  Role works and it can't hurt.  RDFa works well, and is processed by popular search engines like Google and Bing.  Telling the browser (and any Assistive Technologies that might be looking at the browser) what the role of the various parts of your web page isn't just polite, it might help someone use your site more effectively!

41 comments:

Steven Pemberton said...

I see Facebook has started using it! Congratulations (to you and me as well, since we are the ones who started it all).

Radjapov said...

" If youve played Big 2, Thirteen, Deuces, or Presidents, youll love this fresh new take on the game. downlodable warez Turn on "Hide Hop-Ons" to hide these replies from view.

HD Songs said...

I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think. font face generator

Feral H said...

This fews really great for me and I hope It only gets better, thanks a lot. www.expertdaconquista.com

Imperial Voyages Tour Operators said...

Travel And Tour Operators in Delhi India Book Affordable Travel Agency In India Travel And Tour Packages we Provide All India Travel And Tour Packages.Toru Operators In Delhi

Aimee Elvis said...

I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think.
Kicks Vovo Home

Tobiii said...

Brainstorming is an organized, systematic way to harness your ideas and thoughts into usable packets of information. download software Put in your employers, your customers, or even just some categories of time you want to track.

Binasa Lakryuzo said...

This represents our schools mission statement "Christ is the centre of our school community, where we live, love and learn together". downlodable tv shows As I said however yours is the ONLY bug report so I would have to guess that the fault is in your system and NOT the program.

Frankie said...

Please take a moment and leave a review, your experience matters to us. download pdf Outstanding user operation experiences to make the APP have the character with the easy, simple and fast operating.

David Jones said...

Testogen Is A Powerful Supplement That Boosts Testosterone Levels, Promotes Muscle Growth And Increases Strength And Stamina Using Safe, Natural Ingredients
Testogen

Binasa Lakryuzo said...

From TrueSoft Entertainment: Welcome to Blitz Blok, TRUESoft Entertainment's first game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. web site! Se deixar uma dvida na rea de opinies/reviews no poderemos contact-lo de volta para o ajudar.

Alysia Gauthier said...

sizegenetics We are the only penis enlargement device to show you REAL customer testimonials. Why? Because SizeGenetics™ really works! Learn more.

Alysia Gauthier said...

male extra Male Extra pills are famous on the market. But you have to know some side effects and results. My prof review will help you.

kamil kamil said...

Your daily, weekly, monthly, supplementary, causelist will be available on a daily basis right on your mobile screen. download driver Recent changes:2/7/2013Iconmask has been added back.

Alysia Gauthier said...

Many women also consider v tight gel after having children. During natural childbirth the vaginal muscles expand to form the birth canal for your baby.

Komil Hitriy said...

Thumb Scanner This hi-tech thumb scanner will first scan your finger for print scan identification. http://admkrasnokutskposelen.ru 2) Fixed a paging problem with text at the bottom of the PDF page.

millenium said...

This book relates that when Israel's leaders were unfaithful God raised up new leaders for the people. cockney rejects torrent From Max Gaming Technologies: This Captain's Edition is for iPhone users who have not upgraded to iPhone OS 3.

Nicholas Grove said...

sizegenetics We are the only penis enlargement device to show you REAL customer testimonials. Why? Because SizeGenetics™ really works! Learn more.

Nicholas Grove said...

You CAN increase your overall penis length and girth. Using an penis extender can also improve sexual performance and stamina through the process of cell division which can improve blood flow to the penis. Our Peyronies Editions are highly recommended penis straightener devices.

phen24 said...

provides details about v tight gel which helps in getting tighter vaginal walls and improves ...

Mehmet Çömek said...

Very well written article, thanks for sharing.
Fleet Tracking/

Nicholas Grove said...

Noocube Noocube is for people who want to keep up on the latest breakthroughs in brain health and optimization and the related areas of neuroscience.

Mehmet Çömek said...

Excellent article, thanks for sharing.
Small Tracking Device

Mehmet Çömek said...

Very informative article. I enjoyed reading it, keep up the good work!
Small GPS Tracking Device

Ruth Gibby said...

How to tighten your vagina
tight vagina
loose pussy
loose vagina

Ruth Gibby said...

genf20 plus hgh spray
genf20 plus gnc arnold schwarzenegger bodybuilding
genf20 plus reviews genf20

Nicholas Grove said...

Noocube Noocube is for people who want to keep up on the latest breakthroughs in brain health and optimization and the related areas of neuroscience.

Mehmet Çömek said...

Great article, thanks for sharing.
Personal Tracker

Mehmet Çömek said...

It was entertaining to read, very useful informatio. Thanks for sharing.
Fleet Management Software

Mehmet Çömek said...

I really liked the post, very well written.
Personal Locator

Millennium 77 said...

As soon as a lyric is available for publication it will be available in your Pearl Jams Lyric Studio app. bdp s360 manual pdf For ParentsKids - Cooperation - Safety: Coloring book with cooperative mode safe for kids.

Mehmet Çömek said...

Very well written post, keep up the good work.
GPS tracker review

Mehmet Çömek said...

Thank you for sharing an excellent article. Much appreciated.
Drone videos

Nicholas Grove said...

Nootropics is for people who want to keep up on the latest breakthroughs in brain health and optimization and the related areas of neuroscience.

Radjabov Rustam said...

'Just Ride' option shows live speed, time and distance accompanied by Google Maps. http://gooddownloadwarezdatabase.us A Energia do Silncio e o Poder de Concentrao dos Segredos no Revelados for iPhone.

AMELIA77 said...

- ScreenWash - We offer you outstanding 24/7 cleaning service, by our cute cleaning expert! download apps You choose where Kestrel goes, who she trusts, and how she reacts to the events around her.

Ella Spraggins said...

Does Phen24 diet pills really work Or it has side effects. Read this detailed Phen24 review to discover all the ingredients.visit:http://www.helpme-loseweight.com/

Ella Spraggins said...

phen24

jennifertolley said...

Brestrogen is the best natural Best Breast Enhancement Pills made it with pueraria mirifica that help you to lift, enlarge, and firming your breasts

Aimee Elvis said...

cheap jordan site For the players and the club, the powerful opponent is the power of their best, through the competition between each other to compete for the championship, for them is the slogan" with strong shelly strong "best. Since the other brands in terms of movement between the brand is also very competitive now, we are now to do yourself, not afraid of the strong, we strive to be the most populist Canadian sports brand."

Unknown said...

ainterol pueraria mirifica
best ways to increase breast size
ways to increase breast size fast
increase your breast size easily
breast enhancer exercise
best breast enlargement pills and creams