[webkit-dev] Fwd: Adding <main> element to WebCore

Steve Faulkner faulkner.steve at gmail.com
Tue Nov 27 20:33:39 PST 2012

On Wed, 28 Nov 2012, ian hickson wrote:


> ARIA is used by very few authors, and those authors are, by and large,
> much more competent than average. ARIA therefore tends to be used to a
> much higher level of quality than most elements.

The claim that developers that use ARIA are much more competent than
average is unsubstantiated.
a quick check (html conformance) of some data [1] does not indicate any
difference in the competency of developers that use ARIA and those who do

ARIA like HTML contains simple well understood features (such as role=main)
and more complex features more prone to errors of use (such as

Where features are well understood, map on to common authoring concepts and
easy to author they are often used correctly.

> It would probably be used about as well, maybe a little less well than
> them because the idea of what is "main" varies from author to author (e.g.
> in the sites you analysed on the WHATWG list, as well as in many that
> others have mentioned before, id="main" and id="content" often include
> things like some navigation, some headers, some sidebars, some footers).

The data  does not support the claim that "id="main" and id="content" often
things like some navigation, some headers, some sidebars, some footers)."
It indicates that in approximately 80% of cases headers, footers,
navigation etc are not included.

> > so I don't see why they would make sense to be supported while <main>
> > doesn't.
> The use case for e.g. <header> is mainly one of maintenance and styling:
> lots of people style their headers very specifically. In general it
> doesn't matter if one author marks his navigation as being part of his
> header and another marks his navigation using <nav>; the result is the
> same: they are clearly marked in the source, they can be styled, and they
> can be skipped. If one author doesn't use it, or even if most authors use
> it incorrectly, it doesn't mean that other authors can't use it.
> The use case for <main> is accessibility navigation. If authors use it
> incorrectly, the feature *doesn't work*. The element becomes pointless.
> Combined with the way that the concept of "main" varies from author to
> author, you dramatically increase the likelihood that the element won't
> satisfy its stated purpose.

More information about the webkit-dev mailing list