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

Steve Faulkner faulkner.steve at gmail.com
Tue Nov 27 20:43:22 PST 2012

 resending in plain text as previous email was cutoff

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 not.

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

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 include
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.

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