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RE: Drop longdesc, get aria-describedat?

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 00:17:49 -0500
Message-Id: <E1S5VkY-0008Lj-CW@maggie.w3.org>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Cc: Geoff Freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Leif,

At 05:54 AM 3/8/2012 +0100, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>John Foliot, Wed, 07 Mar 2012 22:22:44 -0500:
> > Quoting Leif Halvard Silli:
> >> Geoff Freed, Thu, 8 Mar 2012 01:21:45 +0000:
> >>
> >>  Which in turns means that -
> >> in the end - @longdesc's burial is being prepared.
> >
> > I think, inadvertently, you've hit on one of the problems - the
> > headlong rush to burial, without a long and useful retirement, or
> > even retirement plan in place.
>
>One could argue that there is a plan - at least a thought - in the ARIA
>community. One could further argue, that that plan/thought implies the
>burial ...

No. The A11y TF, after extensive discussion on this, and in 
coordination with people working directly on ARIA, supports the 
change proposal that Laura has coordinated with us on, in order for 
there to be bridges, not burials.

>...
> > Let's frame it this way: for all intents and purposes, aria-label and
> > @alt both produce an accessible name for an image. Given that, should
> > we obsolete @alt? Of course not! (Yet according to the pure logic of
> > the argument, we could) One reason of course is that we have yet to
> > do the right amount of education, we don't yet have enough
> > user-agents to ensure that this is "universal" (or at least as
> > universal as @alt is), etc. It is no different here.
>
>I would add that @alt is also directly useful for e.g. text browser
>users or if you disable image display - user agents are not tuned to
>render @aria-label, should we have replaced @alt with @aria-label.
>Also, @alt is much more successful.
>
>But you are right: In theory one could replace @alt. It is only because
>@alt is so *well* integrated into the language that we don't do
>something like that.
>
>Or, just consider the fate of @summmary ... ?
>
> >>  <div><style scope>div{color:red}</style></div>
> >>
> >> One could argue that it should not be conforming, yet, because <style
> >> scope> has zero implementation, so far. In fact, if you look in
> >> public-html - in this moment, then you'll see that it isn't even clear
> >> how it will work ...  the CSS cascade is unclear:
> >> http://www.w3.org/mid/4F570227.8060707@mit.edu
> >
> > Leif, as I outlined in my earlier email, the trials and tribulations
> > of scoping rules for color and CSS pale against any requirement for
> > persons with disabilities. I am sympathetic to their problems, but
> > for lynx users, and screen reader users, color scoping is, shall we
> > say, not important. Access to information is.
>
>Absolutely.
>
> >> So we do not necessarily need so *much* before we can put in HTML5 ...
> >> At the same time: It would be futile, in an directly accessibility
> >> related issue, to recommend people to use an attribute with zero
> >> implementation. And hence, yet another argument in favor of saying that
> >> the validity of @longdesc should depend on duplication with the
> >> @aria-describedAT attribute.
> >
> > They should have a similar, perhaps identical implementation. but we
> > need to de-link them from the discussion at this time: HTML5 is
> > HTML5, and ARIA is ARIA, and one specification/standard should not be
> > dictating a timeline to the other IMHO.
>
>I don't think they need to be absolutely equal: Think about the @name
>attribute on the anchor element. It lives - 'mentally' - in the same
>namespace as @id - yes HTMl4 uses 'namespace' about it. But they are
>different nodes. And so getElementById() will not match @name.
>Likewise, @longdesc can work a little bit different from
>@aria-describedAT. The important thing, though, is that when both are
>present, then an AT that supports both, should ignore one of them -
>normally it should ignore the @longdesc.
>
>Certainly, I would be fine with @longdesc fully conforming. I just try
>to 'dress it up' so that it can be more acceptable to those that don't
>necessarily agree ...

The longdesc proposal has already been substantially updated in the 
version of the TF-supported longdesc proposal that is awaiting 
consideration under the HTML WG decision policy. The changes made 
already reflect extensive adaptations according to discussion and 
input from HTML WG participants. Generating yet more proposals, 
rather than focusing attention on getting a hearing for the proposal 
that is already on the table and has already received such extensive 
work, is likely to cause further delay rather than help resolve the issue.

- Judy

>So yes, they must be delinked, functionally. But the condition for
>using @longdesc, could nevertheless be that @aria-describedAT is also
>used.
>
>I don't think this is a 'golden egg'. I just try to show how one can
>reason if we have plan to replace it with @aria-describedAT.
>--
>Leif H Silli
Received on Thursday, 8 March 2012 05:18:52 UTC

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