Namespaced ARIA markup no longer supported in Firefox 3

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Aaron Leventhal

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Dec 11, 2007, 10:14:27 PM12/11/07
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Now that PFWG decided that aria-[propertyname] attributes were the
official way forward, Mozilla has decided to remove support for the old
namespaced ARIA properties.

The decision was made to ensure everyone gets over to the new approach
while we're still in a pre-ARIA 1.0 phase. This will ensure that
everything which works in Firefox 3 can also work in Opera, IE, Safari
etc. once they fully support ARIA (Opera has confirmed they are already
working on it). Removing the namespaced property support also removes a
fair amount of code and attribute processing.

It now no longer matters whether you use XHTML or HTML (or for that
matter, SVG or XUL). Firefox will process the new non-namespaced markup
the same way on anything it renders. You can use ARIA markup
declaratively and set it dynamically the same way, regardless of the
content type.

For those who really need Firefox 2 support, then you will need to do
what the Dojo toolkit does. You will need a generic method to set an
ARIA property if you don't already have one. In that method, set a
namespaced attribute (aria:property) for Firefox 2, and the
non-namespaced (aria-[property]) attribute for *all* other browsers --
Firefox 3, Opera, IE, etc.

For details on how Dojo does the browser switch, you can view their
wai.js code which provides exact details. (Licensing terms: You may use
Dojo in commercial software without obtaining a separate license or
incurring other obligations. See http://dojotoolkit.org/about/license
for more info). The wai.js code is here:
http://trac.dojotoolkit.org/browser/dijit/trunk/_base/wai.js

This change takes affect in Firefox 3 nightly builds with the date 12/12
and later.

- Aaron

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