W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > March 2012

Re: Drop longdesc, get aria-describedat?

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 07:56:26 +1100
Message-Id: <E43DE40C-FB2D-4644-A4FC-A469585D0937@gmail.com>
Cc: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, RichardSchwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTMLAccessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>

On 13/03/2012, at 5:53 AM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> Quoting Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>:
> 
>> On Wed, 07 Mar 2012 20:04:16 +0100, Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@målform.no> wrote:
>>> So, the process is the reason we can't say 'use @aria-describedat' ...
>> 
>> No. The problem is that some important projects are not implementing the functionality described.
>> 
>> There are reasons for using longdesc as is: it's relatively well-known, it's relatively well described. There are reasons for preferring something that does the same with a different name: people get to say they were right about longdesc being broken as shown because we move to the new version, longdesc as currently specced in HTML4 doesn't apply as generally as required.
>> 
>> The specification can be done in a tiny amount of time if that is needed. But without implementor commitment, it just isn't needed very urgently. Understanding the basics can be done just as well by implementing longdesc...
> 
> Here, here.
> 
> You can call *it* whatever you want (including "Duck Soup") but without implementation we are stuck - dead in the water.  Today we have some implementation of @longdesc support. It's not universal, it's not ideal, and it does not serve all users the way it should. But it is boots-on-the-ground none-the-less, which is significantly more useful then theorizing what if, what could be, and what should be. Frankly, this entire thread has been nothing more than a time-sink rehashing the same old same-old, allowing those who want to dump @longdesc the opportunity (once again) to suggest "...those a11y folks don't even know what they want" - which is pretty far from the real truth, but continued hand-wringing and teeth gnashing over this is truly not helping anything. Let @longdesc be retained in HTML5 and then we can look to improve upon it in a measured and reasonable time-frame.
> 
> Let's be crystal clear: without further support from the tool vendors (and I sidestep the fact that the browsers are a significant, but not exclusive member of that group) @longdesc will languish under-used, cheating users from functionality they require. But rushing to dump it and insert something "new" with even less support is stupid, and I will go so far as to suggest that anyone who fails to understand *THAT* also deserves the same title.
> 
> 
> 
>> 
>> If aria-describedat will get implemented, that is pretty much trumps for me. But if an ongoing discussion about it is an excuse to do nothing for a few extra weeks, I'd rather talk about something more productive.


We're spinning in circles. If implementers would rather implement a new attribute the same across all browsers and for more elements than just img, we should enable them to do so. Refusing to produce a spec because isn't helping.

Silvia.
Received on Monday, 12 March 2012 20:57:55 UTC

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