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RE: FW: Proposal: remove aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1 specification

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 09:48:25 -0600
To: Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>
Cc: Avneesh Singh <avneesh.sg@gmail.com>, Charles LaPierre <charlesl@benetech.org>, Juan Corona <juanc@evidentpoint.com>, George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>, "DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, "PF (public-pfwg@w3.org)" <public-pfwg@w3.org>, Ric Wright <rkwright@geofx.com>, "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, Zheng Xu <zxu@kobo.com>
Message-ID: <OFBE86A39A.8DD39E46-ON86257EF9.00563CCD-86257EF9.0056D4E2@us.ibm.com>
I am of the position that aria-describedat should be dropped. It is on the
ARIA agenda this Thursday. If others agree then I will be putting out a
straw poll. The reality is that aria-describedat does not address all the
requirements and because ARIA does not dictate user agent browser behavior
depending on it only helps users of assistive technology. What is needed is
a solution that helps all users - including those with AT. I think
details/summary will do it with the added media query.

My position is that we go to details/summary and I have been working with
browser vendors to ensure that it is in the remaining platforms.

If more is needed beyond details/summary, I agree with Michael this is an
APA issue. This is why we have an APA working group.


Rich Schwerdtfeger

From:	Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>
To:	"Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>
Cc:	Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS, Avneesh Singh
            <avneesh.sg@gmail.com>, "DPUB mailing list
            (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Juan
            Corona <juanc@evidentpoint.com>, Zheng Xu <zxu@kobo.com>, Ric
            Wright <rkwright@geofx.com>, Charles LaPierre
            <charlesl@benetech.org>, "PF (public-pfwg@w3.org)"
            <public-pfwg@w3.org>, George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>
Date:	11/10/2015 08:08 AM
Subject:	RE: FW: Proposal: remove aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1

In fairness to Rich, I am the one who originally prompted explanations
regarding the recommendation of details+summary+iframe as "best
practice" (following Tzvia's initial request for sample content). Let's
move this discussion where it belongs. Regards, Daniel

On 10 Nov 2015 1:51 p.m., "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>
  Hi Rich,

  I am a little confused about why we are re-hashing this conversation and
  why it is happening exclusively on the DPUB list. I’ve copied the PF
  list, and I’ve asked Janina to add the review of the extended description
  analysis and next steps to the 11 November PF meeting.

  At TPAC, we agreed that that DPUB is a stakeholder but will not define
  the solution to extended descriptions. I believe Michael and Janina
  agreed that this is up to APA. As you know DPUB has been very vocal, but
  we are not the only stakeholder. If I understood Michael correctly, the
  next step is to review the feasible approaches as pointed to by the
  analysis and present them to the stakeholders.

  Please see minutes from our joint session at TPAC [1] and the extended
  description analysis [2] and feedback [3].



  [1] http://www.w3.org/2015/10/29-dpub-minutes.html#item03

  [2] http://www.w3.org/2015/08/extended-description-analysis.html


  Tzviya Siegman

  Digital Book Standards & Capabilities Lead




  From: Daniel Weck [mailto:daniel.weck@gmail.com]
  Sent: Monday, November 09, 2015 2:04 PM
  To: Richard Schwerdtfeger
  Cc: Avneesh Singh; Charles LaPierre; Juan Corona; George Kerscher; DPUB
  mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org); Ric Wright; Siegman, Tzviya -
  Hoboken; Zheng Xu
  Subject: Re: FW: Proposal: remove aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1

  My reply is inline:

  On Sun, Nov 8, 2015 at 6:58 PM, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>


  For extended descriptions, why are we concerned about media overlays.
  This sounds like yet another use case we were not made aware of.


  I see. Well, at the DAISY Consortium we have an authoring tool that
  generates synchronized text / audio for "external" documents (i.e.
  out-of-line long descriptions) as well as for the primary reading flow
  from which the ancillary descriptions are referenced. For example, a
  "simplified language" description may indeed need to be narrated (using
  human recording, or pre-generated synthetic voice), just as much as the
  rest of the book.

  I realize that this is the DPUB mailing list, and that EPUB3 Media
  Overlays (formerly DAISY Digital Talking Books) are not a standard
  feature of the Open Web Platform. However, if the W3C recommendation is
  to use iframes to embed additional / ancillary content, then MO playback
  will not function ; in any of the EPUB3 reading systems I am aware of ;
  because of the nested DOM context. I don't foresee a trivial
  implementation fix for that either.

  I am not convinced yet that an IFrame is a problem.


  What about support for annotations? The reading systems I know of are
  able to handle annotated user selections at the top-document level only,
  not within isolated iframe (or object) content islands, which are
  typically used as blackboxes for widgets or special-purpose renderers
  (e.g. a 3D molecule viewer). I have seen sophisticated long descriptions,
  which I am sure would be worth quoting / commenting on (for the same
  reason that users like to annotate the primary reading flow). It would be
  a shame to hinder this potential use case.

  Regarding 5. If you go to a link you are not going to hit an escape to
  get back to the exact same point of regard in a web page. It sounds like
  you are asking for an entirely new HTML feature.


  I am not requesting new features. My argument is that embedding ancillary
  documents in iframes within the main primary document makes them
  second-class citizens vis-a-vis functionality which I think is central in
  some digital publications. The problem of linking into a separate
  document viewport and returning back into the primary reading flow can
  be / is solved in EPUB reading systems (it's implemented in iBooks and
  Readium in different ways, but in both cases the originating reading
  location gets restored). Pure web browsers address this very problem by
  preserving the scrolling offset of the originating page, when
  hyperlinking into another document within the _SELF target (_BLANK ;
  obviously ; retains the existing context). Sure, some browsers don't
  preserve the actual keyboard-focused element, but that's an issue with
  tabbed / windowed browsing in general, and screen readers / assistive

  Regarding repagination, why would you want to repaginate when you are
  only looking at an iframe embedded in a <details> element. You are just
  asking to temporarily view a piece of information. The pagination should
  pertain to the surrounding book content - or perhaps I am missing


  If I am not mistaken, the detail element is collapsible / expandable. In
  an EPUB reading system that paginates reflowable content (most RS do),
  any change of content dimensions within a given document triggers a
  pagination pass, so that the RS can re-sync the page count / progress
  (within the current chapter, and possibly across multiple chapters /
  spine items too). That is what I was referring to.

  Here's another thought: unlike basic alt / popup text, external
  descriptions can consist in rather extensive supplementary material. I
  admit rarely seeing descriptions longer than one or two pages of text (as
  per a typical e-book paginated renderer), but it still bothers me to
  think that ancillary documents would be displayed in fixed-size iframes
  (probably within a vertical scrolling pane) whilst the primary
  publication documents are rendered as first-class citizens, taking into
  account user-chosen presentation settings (e.g. paginated vs. scroll,
  margin, font size, line spacing, etc.). I saw some long descriptions that
  are not just short temporary snippets of trivial text, I imagine that
  they would be hard to read when embedded within the surrounding context
  of the main document.

  Rich Schwerdtfeger


  Let me know if I am off-the-mark, I do not want to waste anyone's brain
  cycles unnecessarily.

  I just want to understand how we went from "use hidden longdesc /
  aria-described-at links" (out-of-line model), to "use visible detail
  +iframe markup to embed external documents" (inline design). This seems
  like a drastic paradigm shift. Beside subjective design preferences,
  hopefully I have managed to articulate concrete issues with the current



  Inactive hide details for Daniel Weck ---11/06/2015 04:32:27 PM---Thanks
  Rich, your full email is quoted below, my response herDaniel Weck
  ---11/06/2015 04:32:27 PM---Thanks Rich, your full email is quoted below,
  my response here: 1) I couldn't agree more (aria-descr

  From: Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>
  To: Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
  Cc: "DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)" <
  public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Zheng Xu <zxu@kobo.com>, Tzviya - Hoboken
  Siegman <tsiegman@wiley.com>, Charles LaPierre <charlesl@benetech.org>,
  George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>, Avneesh Singh <
  avneesh.sg@gmail.com>, Ric Wright <rkwright@geofx.com>, Juan Corona <
  Date: 11/06/2015 04:32 PM

  Subject: Re: FW: Proposal: remove aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1

  Thanks Rich, your full email is quoted below, my response here:

  1) I couldn't agree more (aria-describedat suffered from that same issue

  2) I saw sample HTML "chapters" containing a lot of images and linked
  external descriptions. I would venture a guess that many iframe instances
  loading simultaneously would be noticeable (even if the embedded
  documents are small, each iframe requires the browser / webview to
  bootstrap a separate rendering context). Perceived performance
  degradation during page/chapter navigation is an ongoing concern,
  especially on mobile devices and in web / cloud reading systems (due to
  concurrent HTTP requests).

  3) Agreed, but based on my experience developing reading systems (not
  just Readium), documents embedded in iframe sub-contexts typically cannot
  be processed and interacted with on par with the primary reading flow,
  when it comes to ; for example ; annotations (user selections + data
  attachments), or EPUB3 Media Overlays (synchronised text + audio

  4) Arguably, that's achievable with hyperlinks + ancillary reading
  context too, with none of the the aforementioned drawbacks.

  5) I don't think context switching is necessarily a drawback, assuming an
  "escape" mechanism is provided by the user agent / reading system to
  restore the initial reading location (Readium's implementation of
  non-linear spine item navigation does just that, by the way). In a pure
  web browser with no polyfill to interpret special rel link semantics, a
  simple target _BLANK would be a viable fallback (minimum required
  functionality). In fact, even the "back" button of modern browsers
  (navigation history) does a good job at restoring the location of the
  activated originating hyperlink.

  Furthermore, I would like to point out that although expand/collapse
  areas cause no issues in reflowable content rendered in scrolling
  viewports, in paginated contexts it's a different matter, because page
  units need to be recalculated, which typically triggers the global
  publication paginator to resync the whole "e-book".



  On 6 Nov 2015 7:41 p.m., "Richard Schwerdtfeger" <schwer@us.ibm.com>
  > 1. The details and summary approach allows all users to benefit in
  accessing the external description. aria-describedby and hidden iframes
  don't do that
  > 2. I don't think that a hidden iframe is going to take that much
  overhead if all that we are doing is bringing in an external description
  > 3. An IFrame can be accessed by all users and not just screen reader
  > 4. The IFrame would address the requirement of the digital publishing
  people to allow for crowd sourced descriptions as well as alternative
  > 5. A hypertext link would require you to go to an entirely separate
  document and cause a context switch. Context switches would result in
  going to an entirely different document and then you would need to go
  back and land where you left off prior to clicking the link. Iframes are
  expanded inside the details and appear like a div to assistive
  technologies and the tabbing order would follow straight through to the
  contents of the IFrame.
  > I hope this enlightens.
  > Rich Schwerdtfeger
  > Daniel Weck ---11/06/2015 12:34:24 PM---Thanks Rich. But why an iframe
  element, and not a standard a@href hyperlink? In the
  > From: Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>
  > To: Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
  > Cc: Avneesh Singh <avneesh.sg@gmail.com>, Charles LaPierre <
  charlesl@benetech.org>, George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>, "DPUB
  mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>,
  "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, Zheng Xu <zxu@kobo.com>
  > Date: 11/06/2015 12:34 PM
  > Subject: Re: FW: Proposal: remove aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1
  > ________________________________
  > Thanks Rich.
  > But why an iframe element, and not a standard a@href hyperlink? In the
  "other" aria-describedBy proposal, a *hidden* iframe is used to host the
  external document, but this was very much a hack to work around the fact
  that the described-by attribute ; unlike described-at ; cannot reference
  an external resource directly (thus the proposed iframe level of
  > With detail+summary, the original content document / primary reading
  flow is interfered with anyway (structually and visually), so I do not
  understand the rationale for embedding an additional iframe (which ; by
  the way ; is likely to hinder page loading performance in cases where
  there are many descriptions).
  > Surely, now that the battle is lost for a "hidden" attribute, we might
  as well promote a regular HTML hyperlink? This would address the
  objections raised by a number of browser vendors, when it comes to
  agreeing on best practice regarding the access mechanism for
  general-purpose out-of-line descriptions.
  > Could you please enlighten me? (or provide a reference to a document
  that outlines the pros/cons)
  > Many thanks!
  > Kind regards, Daniel
  > On Friday, 6 November 2015, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
  > Daniel,
  > You would do that through the use of an iFrame inside of <details> as
  seen below (modifying ZHeng Xu's example):
  > Here you go:
  > <section class="progress window">
  >  <h1>Copying "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"</h1>
  >  <details>
  >   <summary>Copying... <progress max="375505392"
  value="97543282"></progress> 25%</summary>
  >    <iframe src="xxx"</iframe>
  >   </details>
  > at the url xxx:
  > <html>
  > ...
  > <body>
  > <dl>
  >    <dt>Transfer rate:</dt> <dd>452KB/s</dd>
  >    <dt>Local filename:</dt> <dd>/home/rpausch/raycd.m4v</dd>
  >    <dt>Remote filename:</dt> <dd>/var/www/lectures/raycd.m4v</dd>
  >    <dt>Duration:</dt> <dd>01:16:27</dd>
  >    <dt>Colour profile:</dt> <dd>SD (6-1-6)</dd>
  >    <dt>Dimensions:</dt> <dd>320㈴0</dd>
  >   </dl>
  > </dl>
  > </body>
  > </html>
  > Best,
  > Rich
  > Rich Schwerdtfeger
  > Daniel Weck ---11/05/2015 05:00:48 PM---Thank you, but this is an
  *inline* description. How would detail+summary be used for *external*
  > From: Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>
  > To: Zheng Xu <zxu@kobo.com>
  > Cc: "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, Avneesh Singh <
  avneesh.sg@gmail.com>, Charles LaPierre <charlesl@benetech.org>, George
  Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>, "DPUB mailing list (
  public-digipub-ig@w3.org)" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
  > Date: 11/05/2015 05:00 PM
  > Subject: Re: FW: Proposal: remove aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1
  > ________________________________
  > Thank you, but this is an *inline* description. How would
  > detail+summary be used for *external* long descriptions? (as per
  > Rich's email, it looks like ARIA's describedat will be removed)
  > If the plan is to use a regular a@href HTML hyperlink within the
  > detail element markup, then my previous comments apply. If not, what
  > is the plan? :)
  > Daniel
  > On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 10:34 PM, Zheng Xu <zxu@kobo.com> wrote:
  > > Found details/summary example in html5

  > >
  > > And here is a code snippet:
  > > =======================================
  > > <section class="progress window">
  > >  <h1>Copying "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"</h1>
  > >  <details>
  > >   <summary>Copying... <progress max="375505392"
  value="97543282"></progress> 25%</summary>
  > >   <dl>
  > >    <dt>Transfer rate:</dt> <dd>452KB/s</dd>
  > >    <dt>Local filename:</dt> <dd>/home/rpausch/raycd.m4v</dd>
  > >    <dt>Remote filename:</dt> <dd>/var/www/lectures/raycd.m4v</dd>
  > >    <dt>Duration:</dt> <dd>01:16:27</dd>
  > >    <dt>Colour profile:</dt> <dd>SD (6-1-6)</dd>
  > >    <dt>Dimensions:</dt> <dd>320㈴0</dd>
  > >   </dl>
  > >  </details>
  > > </section>
  > > =======================================
  > >
  > > Cheers,
  > > Jeff
  > >
  > > ________________________________________
  > > From: Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>
  > > Sent: November 5, 2015 2:00 PM
  > > To: Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken; Avneesh Singh; Charles LaPierre;
  George Kerscher
  > > Cc: DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)
  > > Subject: Re: FW: Proposal: remove aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1
  > >
  > > Hello, I would like to see an example too.
  > > I must admit, at the moment I fail to see how detail+summary falls
  > > into the same category as aria-describedAt / longdesc. Aren't these
  > > two competing / mutually-exclusive design approaches? If I remember
  > > correctly, the latter was considered in the first place because a
  > > simple URL attribute has minimal interference with the structure and
  > > visuals of the "primary" reading flow (which is what I thought
  > > publishers requested). Conversely, detail+summary requires the
  > > insertion of additional markup in the vicinity of the described
  > > element.
  > >
  > > Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that detail+summary is more
  > > semantically expressive, and that it can contain rich markup. But for
  > > detail+summary to qualify as a container or accessor for "extended /
  > > external" description, there needs to be additional metadata
  > > associated with the element (e.g. role value, or ; sigh ; a CSS class
  > > name convention), in order for supporting reading systems to
  > > and render content selectively (Media Query would definitely help
  > > to). So, this can in fact already be implemented *today* using
  > > existing HTML markup, even though detail+summary is arguably a
  > > solution (declarative, with built-in collapse/expand behaviour).
  > >
  > > I should point out that I have a personal preference for
  > > non-obfuscated/hidden features supported by mainstream user agents
  > > (standard user interface affordance), that is to say not just
  > > specialised assistive technology (which was one of the big criticism
  > > of longdesc etc. leading up to the objection of some browser
  > > So in principle, my vote would go for detail+summary, but given that
  > > this appears to be a totally different design approach compared to
  > > aria-describedAt, I wonder whether this paradigm shift is (1) purely
  > > pragmatic (i.e. the battle for longdesc and aria-describedAt adoption
  > > is pretty much lost), or (2) if a consensus has in fact emerged
  > > amongst stakeholders (disability community, browser vendors, etc.)
  > > such that traditional hyperlinking is now considered best practice.
  > >
  > > Sorry if I am off-the-mark, I may have missed some of the discussions
  > > resulting in the promotion of detail/summary as an alternative to
  > > aria-describedAt. Also, I haven't seen concrete examples so I may be
  > > misunderstanding the proposal.
  > >
  > > Kind regards, Daniel
  > >
  > > On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 3:52 PM, Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken
  > > <tsiegman@wiley.com> wrote:
  > >> FYI
  > >>
  > >>
  > >>
  > >> If anyone has samples of <details>/<summary> in use for extended
  > >> description, please pass them along so that we can help out with
  > >> documentation of best practices.
  > >>
  > >>
  > >>
  > >> Tzviya
  > >>
  > >>
  > >>
  > >> Tzviya Siegman
  > >>
  > >> Digital Book Standards & Capabilities Lead
  > >>
  > >> Wiley
  > >>
  > >> 201-748-6884
  > >>
  > >> tsiegman@wiley.com
  > >>
  > >>
  > >>
  > >> From: Richard Schwerdtfeger [mailto:schwer@us.ibm.com]
  > >> Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2015 10:42 AM
  > >> To: WAI Protocols & Formats
  > >> Cc: DPUB-ARIA
  > >> Subject: Proposal: remove aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1
  > >>
  > >>
  > >>
  > >> After discussions with Microsoft and following the bug tracker for
  > >> it appears that <details>/<summary> is going to be implemented at
  some point
  > >> in both Edge and Firefox. This addresses the gaps in browser
  support. A
  > >> media query will need to be created at some point to handle the
  > >> showing/hiding of this element, and I see those discussions are
  > >> but I believe this addresses the requirements of the digital
  > >> industry.
  > >>
  > >> Since this requirement is being met I would like to propose the
  removal of
  > >> aria-describedat from the ARIA 1.1 specification at the next ARIA
  > >> Group meeting. Are there any objections? Do you agree?
  > >>
  > >> We can vote on the next ARIA WG call but I wanted to give people a
  heads up.
  > >>
  > >> Rich
  > >>
  > >>
  > >> Rich Schwerdtfeger
  > >

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Received on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:49:08 UTC

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