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Re: Response to: ChangeProposals/DeprecateLongdesc

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 11:47:31 +1000
Message-ID: <CAHp8n2mRo0XWqbYeL39=GOV1z5VFny6keh_y5=f5h0LvAADgwg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, public-html-a11y@w3.org
Hi Janina,

Thanks for bearing with me. I am indeed wondering about actual use
cases for aria-describedby given all the problems you are citing with
it. Right now it seems to me that I as a Web developer should totally
ignore it because:
* it follows the push model and users prefer to have a choice for
hearing the long description
* it does not allow to properly present rich text
* it does not allow to point to hidden on-page text
* it does not allow to point to off-page content (though this could be
countered by having the link as part of the on-page html fragment it
is pointing to)

IIUC the first three facts are problems with implementations and
weren't quite what the standardization intended.

Disregarding the discussion about longdesc for the moment, I am
concerned that we have ended up with a generic long description
solution called aria-describedby that does not actually solve the long
description problem

I would much prefer having an attribute that can be used on many
(maybe even any) element and that does the same thing everywhere than
to just solve this problem with @longdesc for images only.

Hmm, I wonder....

I assume that @longdesc can point to on-page HTML fragments by using a
fragment URL (#blah). So, if we are saying @longdesc is the better
solution for long descriptions when comparing @aria-describedby with
@longdesc, maybe it's time to deprecate @aria-describedby and
introduce @longdesc for all elements?



On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 1:37 AM, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net> wrote:
> Hi, Silvia:
> I believe you're referring to:
> WAI CG Consensus Recommendations on Text alternatives in HTML 5
> http://www.w3.org/2009/06/Text-Alternatives-in-HTML5.html
> My best recollection is that we wanted to be forward looking. Note that
> we were particularly concerned to support rich content structures in
> alternative text mechanisms. Note, however, that the conditions named
> for describedby are not met particularly at this point. We lost the rich
> text unless the describedby content is on screen for all comers.
> Note also that the expectation was a two-step use of describedby, where
> the user would need to activate a URI to access the bulk of alternative
> longer description, quoting:
> "If aria-describedby can point off page (by pointing to a link on the
> page) ..."
> This approach was eventually rejected after wider discussion. It has not
> been raised again, including by the current proposal.
> Janina
Received on Thursday, 25 August 2011 01:48:27 UTC

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