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Re: Notice of impending Formal Objection to Issue 30 Decision (@longdesc)

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 19:00:21 +0200
To: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Message-ID: <20100915190021087475.5da70bf2@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Charles McCathieNevile, Fri, 13 Aug 2010 06:15:13 +0800:
> It may be the case that a future version of ARIA can change this. 
> However, this boils down to having exactly the same attribute, with a 
> new name, available on more elements, in some unspecified future when 
> ARIA 2 is ready.

I believe I have new info w.r.t. what ARIA 1 or 2 eventually needs to 
do. [*]
[*]http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2010Sep/0031

As long as the focus is only elements with role="img", then is not so 
much that ARIA needs "exactly the same attribute, with a new name". It 
is rather the problem that ARIA's role="img" model doesn't fully 
implement the HTML's <img> model: Since the <img> model includes 
@longdesc, role="img" should also allow a link inside inside role="img" 
elements. 

But currently all children of a role="img" is treated as 
presentational, with the additinoal requirement that AT SHOULD NOT 
reveal them. Also, note that elements referred to with aria-labelledby 
or aria-describedby, are presented to the user as a text string, and 
not as mark-up. Thus if e.g. aria-descirbedby points to  <a id=link 
href=*>link text</a> element, then all that happens is that the user is 
served the textual content as a label/description. I.e. the user 
doesn't get access to the link as a link.

For example, role="img" causes the ASCII art in the example coide in 
HTML5, not presented to ARIA supporting AT. [*]
[*] 
http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/content-models#annotations-for-assistive-technology-products-aria
The only thing that is presented, is the text content inside the label. 
Adding a link inside the label, would not make the link available to AT 
users.

But if ARIA's role="img" would permit one link as child, for example a 
link with rel="longdesc", and treat it as a link and not as a text 
string, then the @longdesc use case would would be possible to solve 
via ARIA. Example:

<figure role="img" aria-labelledby="fish-caption"> 
 <pre>
 o           .'`/
     '      /  (
   O    .-'` ` `'-._      .')
      _/ (o)        '.  .' /
      )       )))     ><  <
      `\  |_\      _.'  '. \
        '-._  _ .-'       '.)
    jgs     `\__\
 </pre>

 <a 
    href="long-desc-url" 
    rel="longdesc"
    >Link to long description</a>

 <figcaption id="fish-caption">
  Joan G. Stark, "<cite>fish</cite>".
  October 1997. ASCII on electrons. 288.
 </figcaption> 
</figure> 

NOTE: to me this is a STRONG argument in favor of keeping @longdesc - 
ARIA should simply fully implement the <img> model for the "img" role. 
The role="img" simply allows authors some flexibility in how they offer 
images. Thus, just as role="img" doesn't compete with <img>, the same 
way wouldn't a <a rel="longdesc"> compete with - instead they would 
support each others: the author would be able to choose between using 
@longdesc inside <img> or rel="longdesc" inside <elment role="img">. 
(Alternatively, instead of rel="longdesc", one could e.g. have a 
@aria-longdesc attribute.)

In order for this to happen, two things must happen: @longdesc must be 
kept in HTML - so that the <img> model is maintained, and ARIA must 
change to accept a link inside a role="img".
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 17:00:56 GMT

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