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Re: Response to: ChangeProposals/DeprecateLongdesc

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 08:58:20 +0200
To: "'Silvia Pfeiffer'" <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, "John Foliot" <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.v0s6ziacwxe0ny@widsith.eng.oslo.osa>
On Fri, 26 Aug 2011 06:06:03 +0200, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>  
wrote:

> Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>>
>> I am not arguing about @longdesc here. I am arguing about the problem
>> that aria-describedby was developed to allow exposing the structure,
>
> No, it was developed as a means for DHTML/Web 2.0/AJAX/whatever widgets  
> to convey an AccessibleDescription to the Accessibility APIs. There is
> no mention, and never was as far as I know, about exposing structured  
> content to the end user.

The spec (although not very well, because you have to chase the thread  
through about 4 places) actually requires that you remove the structure  
and just present the text. I agree that this isn't necessarily clever. I  
wonder if it is because the accessibility APIs are not designed to handle  
included markup.

(I also think it is a problem that ARIA is too closely tied to dealing  
with accessibility APIs rather than being clearly meant to allow browsers  
to offer the benefits to people who aren't using tools attached to those  
APIs, but that's a question that takes a lot of time and effort to deal  
with, and I ahven't been able to dedicate it. I appreciate that James  
Craig has provided some work along those lines, along with others).

>> but it seems that all implementations are removing it.
>
> No implementation is removing anything - they are all doing (or should be
> doing) what is specified in the ARIA spec and Accessibility APIs...

>> So, either we have to fix up the aria-describedby spec to meet the
>> implemented reality
>
> The implemented reality is, or should be, that when text is not visible  
> on screen, aria-describedby treats it as string text.

Implementations and spec match here. If your goal is to use  
aria-describedBy instead of longdesc, which I think we should *want* to do  
but don't think we are anywhere near ready for, the problem is that you  
can't solve the kind of problem that longdesc solves by allowing for real  
markup (plus multimedia and so on).

>> or we have to file bugs. This has nothing to do with the
>> @longdesc arguments.
>
> File bugs where? Against what?

Against ARIA. And yes, we should. In the meantime, I think we're stuck  
with longdesc for at least HTML5 (today it gives a good solution for the  
case of images - one of the long-term problems with longdesc is that it  
doesn't deal with the kind of application widgets ARIA was intended to  
make accessible).

cheers

Chaals

-- 
Charles 'chaals' McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle franšais -- hablo espa˝ol -- jeg lŠrer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Friday, 26 August 2011 06:59:03 GMT

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