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Re: 48-Hour Consensus Call: ARIA-DescribedAT & Longdesc

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 18:13:39 +0200
To: "Joshue O Connor" <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, "Matthew Turvey" <mcturvey@gmail.com>
Cc: "Geoff Freed" <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>, "HTML Accessibility Task Force" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.wb5bc1hmwxe0ny@widsith-3.local>
On Mon, 02 Apr 2012 14:21:17 +0200, Matthew Turvey <mcturvey@gmail.com>  

> On 2 April 2012 08:45, Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie> wrote:
>> You should not infer a correlation between difficulty accessing content  
>> with
>> a lack of usefulness. This is a dangerous path. Any difficulty is more  
>> to do
>> with implementation of the idea rather than its inception.
> My point was in response to Geoff's "It works, and it works every
> time" comment. In my opinion this whole idea is fundamentally flawed
> because it requires a different activation method to a normal link,
> which will inevitably be less easy and intuitive to use.
>> It makes sense to
>> me to retain @longdesc and improve it. I don't agree with the year zero
>> approach. I don't agree with making an element 'sort of' accessible to
>> everyone while drastically reducing its usefulness for the original  
>> target
>> audience (blind of vision impaired users in this case).
> No one has suggested drastically reducing anything, so let's try to
> keep the silly hyperbole out of this discussion. What has been
> suggested is making long descriptions accessible to everyone who needs
> them, right now, including SR users who cannot currently access
> longdesc.
> Since aria-describedby allows pointing to a link on the page, do we
> even need aria-describedat?

Yes. Because
1. aria-describedby *doesn't* provide a particularly usable way of getting  
to a description off the page, and more importantly
2. aria-describedby flattens everything to plain text, which is only  
suitable for some of the use cases.


> --- Begin quote ---
> Because we are confident that aria-describedby will be supported by
> assistive technologies at least as well as longdesc when HTML5 becomes
> a W3C Recommendation:
> IF aria-describedby is incorporated in HTML5 and aria-describedby
> allows pointing to long text alternatives that are off of the page (by
> pointing to a link on the page)
> THEN we believe it is acceptable to obsolete longdesc in HTML5.
> RATIONALE: It is important that a long text mechanism exist which is
> capable of pointing off page. Long descriptions are often too lengthy
> and detailed to be included on the main page. If aria-describedby can
> point off page (by pointing to a link on the page) then it would
> remove any need for continued support of LONGDESC which is not widely
> used by authors at this time. (NOTE: it is understood that
> aria-describedby cannot point off page directly.)
> --- End quote ---
> http://www.w3.org/2009/06/Text-Alternatives-in-HTML5
> -Matt

Charles 'chaals' McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg kan noen norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Monday, 2 April 2012 16:14:16 UTC

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