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Re: why are we pursuing this idea? (was: Implementation Details request on Issue 204 Decision)

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2012 15:40:33 +0100
Message-ID: <CAEhSh3cfMcb1cDnd+teuSbvM-HHXs7gW8HSLXLs5rUUG7YW_ng@mail.gmail.com>
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, public-html@w3.org, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 11:02 AM, Steve Faulkner
<faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> I cannot think of one use case for which I would advise the use of this proposed feature.

I don't think any good use cases have been provided for pointing
@aria-describedby at @hidden full stop, but author-focused use cases
are not the only consideration. We also need to think about how user
agents can provide the best user experience given the inevitable
suboptimal markup.

A key rationale for exposing @hidden content via @aria-describedby is
that naive authors will expect such content to be exposed whatever the
specs and linters say.

To quote the first (accepted) change proposal:

> The hidden="" attribute is the simplest, most straightforward mechanism for hiding elements in HTML or CSS. Given this, authors are likely to use it to hide long descriptions. The WAI-ARIA specification allows aria-describedby="" to point at non-visible content, so it is reasonable for authors to expect such markup to function properly. Because authors rarely run their content through conformance checkers, authors are likely to point at hidden="" content from aria-describedby="" whether or not we forbid them from doing so.

The second (rejected) change proposal says something similar:

> The @hidden attribute is a mechanism for hiding elements in HTML. Given this, authors are likely to use it to hide content. The WAI-ARIA specification allows aria-describedby to point at non-visible content, so it is reasonable for authors to expect such markup to function properly. Because authors rarely run their content through conformance checkers, authors are likely to point at @hidden content from aria-describedby whether or not we forbid them from doing so.

@aria-describedby can be used to reference rich content.

Nobody has given any reason to believe that naive authors won't expect
rich content to be exposed whatever the specs and linters say. Do you
have any reason to believe this?

(Note: I've provided some evidence that naive authors will expect even
simple content *not* to be exposed if hidden.)

--
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 14:41:23 GMT

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