- Role attribute and Meta modules
- Access key replacement called the access element
The Role attribute is now being used to assist in the enablement of Dynamic Web Applications. The W3C WAI Protocols and Formats working group is developing a new role taxonomy to be used as common roles designed to support platform accessibility APIs across the Windows and Gnome desktops.
Today's HTML access key is designed to be an attribute on an HTML element whereby the author specifies a key on a keyboard to either give the element focus or to activate the element. Access key has the following serious deficiencies:
- Not every device has a keyboard.
- The author has to figure out what keyboard mapping to use so that his/her selection does not overlap one consumed by the target browser or operating system
- There is no descrliption as to the purpose of the access key
The access element in XHTML 2 is like "semantic sugar" around XML events in that it provides a higher level semantic binding layer that is in-fact deterministic. It has the following advantages and features:
- Assigns navigatio by role or by a target id whereby the target id takes precendence
- Where there is more than one role matching the access element, focus tracking would sequence through each element having the same role in a circular fashion following document order
- By default, an access element sends a focus event to the target element
- The author may assign a tittle attribute which acts as a description of the access element
- The author may choose a particular event handler to be triggered such as an activate by making declarative reference to use of events
- The author may optionally provide a key binding suggestion for which it is up to the user agent and end user to accept or override
I hope to see these move into the XHTML 1.X namespace so that we can incorporate these features in today's markup without using a separate namespace. They are also applicable to other markup like SVG and thus solve a number of problems facing today's web content.