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Re: Response to: ChangeProposals/DeprecateLongdesc

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 11:47:59 +1000
Message-ID: <CAHp8n2nwj4Vz+RD8tdNNGR2eN8rg-dV56F8d49nFZv+afNGQsQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: public-html-a11y@w3.org
On Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 12:24 AM, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
> Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>> Note that I was referring to this bit out of the WAI CG Consensus
>> Resolutions on Text alternatives in HTML 5 document:
>> "Long text alternatives (e.g. aria-describedby )..."
>> That's what made me think that aria-describedby is intended to be the
>> catch-all long description attribute.
> Perfectly understandable.
>> Also, the "AccessibleDescription" mapping of aria-describedby is just
>> the way in which Microsoft have mapped it to their accessibility API.
> In the response to Jonas, I outlined the various AAPI mappings (as
> supplied by Rich Schwerdtfeger), and they all do essentially the same
> thing (reduce to string text when not visible). At some point, somebody
> needs to blink, and expecting 4 or 5 different AAPI's to be re-written so
> that HTML5 can deprecate @longdesc is a bit of a stretch don't you think?

I am not arguing about @longdesc here. I am arguing about the problem
that aria-describedby was developed to allow exposing the structure,
but it seems that all implementations are removing it. So, either we
have to fix up the aria-describedby spec to meet the implemented
reality or we have to file bugs. This has nothing to do with the
@longdesc arguments.

> Allso, have you fully considered what having
> tabable/focusable content off-screen or hidden would do? Keyboard-only
> users would start tabbing only to lose their visible focus as they were
> tabbing through the hidden content, surely this can't be a good thing?

This is indeed a problem that we need to address. It's the same with
any content that we want available to screenreaders but not exposed
otherwise. We see that happening with things that are positioned
off-screen all the time, or hidden behind other elements, or made 1x1
px large. Do we have a general remedy for this problem? Isn't
tabindex=-1 the solution here?

>> It can't be held against the attribute that an implementation has
>> interpreted the specification more tightly than interpreted. It just
>> means that the specification needs to be made more explicit and the
>> implementations adjusted.
> Again, this seems like a lot of additional work just to acquiesce to a
> few's mistaken drive to obsolete @longdesc.

I've side-tracked a bit and am just argue about the value / non-value
of @aria-describedby by now. Apologies.

> To turn your last comment on
> its edge:
> It can't be held against the attribute (@longdesc) that most GUI browsers
> have failed to bring forth an implementation that was useful for all (and
> not just the non-sighted). It just means that the specification needs to
> be made more explicit (@longdesc must be discoverable to all, and able to
> be acted upon by all) and the implementations (browsers) adjusted.
> Right? <grin>

I would, in fact, totally agree with such a statement. :-)

Received on Friday, 26 August 2011 01:48:55 UTC

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