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

Re: My case for the obsoletion of longdesc (Was: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update)

From: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2012 20:53:43 -0700
Cc: public-html-a11y@w3.org, 'Leif Halvard Silli' <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Message-id: <313FBF6B-5621-44F5-98CB-54C55966EAFC@apple.com>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
On Sep 24, 2012, at 6:01 PM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> I'm more concerned about a link in that hidden frame, or perhaps 3 or 4
> links, and how/what will happen with tab-focus.  For a screen reader to be
> able to afford the user the ability to fire a link, it must first receive
> tab-focus. Yet those tab-focusable links are hidden to the sighted user.

It's seems like you're playing devil's advocate here. The original image is available to the sighted user. The hidden content is, by definition, an alternative. Why would you put interactive links, video, or audio in as the hidden description for a non-interactive image? I don't think the scenario is plausible. 

> How do you reconcile that with: 2.4.7 Focus Visible: Any keyboard operable
> user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is
> visible. (Level AA)
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#navigation-mechanisms-focus-v
> isible
> I have posed this question numerous times now, and never received an answer

My answer is that I would never have to justify it, because I would never do that. The "links, audio, or video in a frame reserved for long description" idea was Leif's, or possibly yours. 

Since you proposed this scenario, I'd probably ask you, as the content author, to reconsider the idea of putting interactive content in either a hidden frame or a longdesc description. If it's interactive content, why would you hide that in an alternate description of non-interactive content? Why would you put this in a secondary URL that most people would never perceive? In the case where you really needed interactive content, I'd probably recommend using an image map or some other form of interactive content in the main body of the page. 

No amount of deliberation over a spec will prevent web content authors from making terrible decisions. Web technologies are just tools. We can specify ways to make all types of content accessible, but we will never be able to prevent authors from using those tools in silly ways, and arguing that we can is futile.

Received on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 03:57:09 UTC

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