W3C

Results of Questionnaire ISSUE-91: Removing the aside Element - Straw Poll for Objections

The results of this questionnaire are available to anybody.

This questionnaire was open from 2010-05-12 to 2010-05-19.

7 answers have been received.

Jump to results for question:

  1. Objections to the Change Proposal to Remove the aide Element
  2. Objections to the Change Proposal to Keep New Elements and Attributes

1. Objections to the Change Proposal to Remove the aide Element

We have a Change Proposal to remove the aside element. If you have strong objections to adopting this Change Proposal, please state your objections below.

Keep in mind, you must actually state an objection, not merely cite someone else. If you feel that your objection has already been adequately addressed by someone else, then it is not necessary to repeat it.

Details

Responder Objections to the Change Proposal to Remove the aide Element
Cynthia Shelly The aside element provides useful document structure, which can be used by assistive technology, small screen devices, or in conjuction with CSS to provide alternative renderings of the content. It is better to have this information at the semantic layer, rather than the accessibility layer, as it has other uses besides accessiblity.
Larry Masinter
David Singer - The new semantic elements in HTML5 enable cleaner and more accessible markup for both document-centric and application-like websites. <aside> is part of a complete set and goes along with <section>, <nav>, <article>, <header> and <footer> as well as the semantic elements inherited from HTML4.
- Semantic elements lead to improved accessibility. The HTML WG Accessibility Task Force has endorsed the <aside> element and opposed the call to remove it.
- The <aside> element has an initial experimental implementation in WebKit. Implementation experience has shown that the cost of adding it is very low.
- Implementors of other browser engines, including Gecko and Presto, have expressed interest in implementing this element.

Given the interest from authors, implementors and the accessibility community in keeping it, the <aside> element should not be removed.
Dean Leigh
Jonas Sicking I object to removing the <aside> element as it would result in missing out of the positive effects listed in http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/KeepNewElements#Positive_Effects

My experience working with web authors for several years is that they tend to do what is easy, whereas accessibility often ends up coming second due to time constraints and unawareness.

By including the semantic <aside> element, we both make it easier for developers to do what they want, since <div class=aside>+CSS is more work than <aside>, as well as automatically get good accessibility in pages.

I think it's very unlikely that as many people would add proper ARIA attributes, as would use the <aside> element. I think this is the reason that the WAI-ARIA specification encourages developers of markup languages to add semantic elements and explicitly declares ARIA as a bridge technology. I also think this is why the HTML Accessibility TF has endorsed the <aside> element.
Krzysztof Maczy&#324;ski Authors as well as semantically oriented editors and tools tend to imitate this element in markup. While it may and in some cases will compete with other quite general purpose containers, that's the nature of markup languages with semantics and usage defined descriptively (rather than prescriptively). Users of HTML just need to deal with it and learn to benefit from it.
Laura Carlson

2. Objections to the Change Proposal to Keep New Elements and Attributes

We have a Change Proposal to keep several newly-introduced semantic elements, attributes, and controls. If you have strong objections to adopting this Change Proposal specifically with respect to the aside element, please state your objections below.

Keep in mind, you must actually state an objection, not merely cite someone else. If you feel that your objection has already been adequately addressed by someone else, then it is not necessary to repeat it.

Details

Responder Objections to the Change Proposal to Keep New Elements and Attributes
Cynthia Shelly
Larry Masinter (see objection on ISSUE-90; lack of transition plan and unambiguous support at this point => remove to allow HTML5 to reach rec realistically).
David Singer
Dean Leigh There is a limit to how many HTML elements are practical to manage, document and teach as well as be dealt with consistenlty by browsers.

Therefore any new element must be deemed "essential". I dont belive "aside" is needed at all but I do see much greater need for other navigational elements.

Elements like "aside" are far too prescriptive and can easily be made with current HTML and CSS.
Jonas Sicking
Krzysztof Maczy&#324;ski
Laura Carlson Rationale is at:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2010May/att-0027/aside.txt

More details on responses

  • Cynthia Shelly: last responded on 13, May 2010 at 19:23 (UTC)
  • Larry Masinter: last responded on 13, May 2010 at 20:50 (UTC)
  • David Singer: last responded on 18, May 2010 at 18:33 (UTC)
  • Dean Leigh: last responded on 18, May 2010 at 21:17 (UTC)
  • Jonas Sicking: last responded on 19, May 2010 at 18:45 (UTC)
  • Krzysztof Maczy&#324;ski: last responded on 19, May 2010 at 20:19 (UTC)
  • Laura Carlson: last responded on 20, May 2010 at 01:34 (UTC)

Everybody has responded to this questionnaire.


Compact view of the results / list of email addresses of the responders

WBS home / Questionnaires / WG questionnaires / Answer this questionnaire

Report issues on GitHub project w3c/wbs-design (preferred) or by mail to sysreq.