Apple Webkit Gets Serious About WAI-ARIA (on Mac)

Posted on Monday, 28 September 2009 by Steve Faulkner

A check of the support for WAI-ARIA roles in the latest Webkit Nightly builds, reveals a major improvement for WAI-ARIA role support on the Mac version of Webkit (an open source web browser engine), but the Windows version shows little progress.

Mac Webkit nightly builds now support more than 60% of the ARIA roles, up from 25% a few months ago. Improved support includes all ARIA landmark roles and many document structure roles.

WAI-ARIA has 59 possible role values (excluding abstract roles):

Mac Support

  • Webkit Nightly 26/09/09 on Mac exposes 39 role values correctly via The Mac accessibility API.
  • Safari 4.0 on Mac exposes 17 role values correctly via The Mac accessibility API
  • Safari 4 Beta on Mac exposes 15 role values correctly via The Mac accessibility API

Windows Support

  • Webkit Nightly 23/09/09 on Windows exposes 10 role values correctly via MSAA.
  • Safari 4.0 on Windows exposes 8 role values via MSAA
  • Safari 4 Beta on Windows exposes 8 role values via MSAA

Detailed results: ARIA role tests on Mac and Windows – Webkit Nightly builds, Safari 4.0 & Safari 4 beta.

About Steve Faulkner

Steve is the Technical Director at TPG. He joined The Paciello Group in 2006 and was previously a Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at vision australia. He is the creator and lead developer of the Web Accessibility Toolbar accessibility testing tool. Steve is a member of several groups, including the W3C Web Platforms Working Group and the W3C ARIA Working Group. He is an editor of several specifications at the W3C including HTML 5.1, ARIA in HTML, Notes on Using ARIA in HTML and HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives. He also develops and maintains HTML5accessibility.


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