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aria-dialog Versus HTML5's dialog Element

ISSUE: Currently, there is both an HTML5 element named dialog and an ARIA role named dialog. A concern has been raised that the use of such synonyms could be detrimental. The editor of the HTML5 draft, Ian Hickson, has publicly stated that he is willing to change the element's name, but also remarked that "dialog" was the best possible choice out of the many considered by the WHAT WG, and pondered the need for a "dialog box" element in HTML5 itself. It has, therefore, been proposed, that the aria role dialog retain the spelling "d i a l o g"; that the spelling "d i a l o g" be reserved in HTML5 for the concept of a "dialog box", thereby bringing ARIA and HTML5 into harmony; and that the HTML5 element currently named "d i a l o g" be changed to reflect the correct spelling for the semantic use for which the element is intended, "d i a l o g u e".

Reasons for Retaining aria-dialog

  1. it is a term known to computer programmers and professionals when spelled "dialog"
  2. it is the preferred spelling for this construct in computer science

Reasons for Changing HTML5's dialog Element to dialogue

  1. "dialogue" is the preferred spelling for the semantic meaning of the term "dialog" as currently used in the HTML5 draft;
    • A) references:
        I. wikipedia entry on "dialog" resolves to "dialogue"
        I. the Merriam-Webster entry on "dialog" lists "dialogue" as the "main entry", with a related entry "dialog box"
  1. since there are many different contexts in which DIALOGUE is an appropriate element/container, the HTML5 dialogue element demands a role attribute, in order to enable differentiation between types of dialogue;
    • A) a preliminary list of predefined role values for DIALOGUE follows:
      • conversation
      • dialogue (covers theater, film, fiction, where the element is used to distinguish dialogue from other types of content)
      • transcript

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