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Re: ISSUE-30 (Longdesc) Change Proposal

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 14:02:42 +0000
Message-ID: <4AEAF202.1030704@cfit.ie>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
CC: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, public-html@w3.org
Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> I agree: That @longdesc is a link is the key. @longdesc has other
> advantages as well, but they are all linked (sic!) to the fact that it
> is a link.
> 
> I wonder if it will be possible to make aria-describedby into a link,
> though. [...]

Yes, to give @aria-describedby the ability to reference a URI as well as
a IDREF would be a great advantage.

> Consider:
>  aria-describedby="link"
>          longdesc="link"
> 
> The former points to somewhere on the same page. The latter points to
> another page with the resource name "link".
> 
> To make it possible to discern IDREFs from links you would then have to
> use full URIs, I suppose. Cumbersome. Prone to errors. Seems better to
> eventually introduce a aria-longdesc="" or aria-link="", then.

This is (partially) a user agent issue, in terms of how say a screen
reader would deal with this situation. Behaviours could be triggered in
a screen reader when it parses @aria-describedby in certain contexts -
or some flag could be used- then the URI content (or snippet) could be
buffered by the AT. The AT could pre-load the URI (or part of it) and
give the screen reader user a preview, and then with the press of some
key - they could activate the URI and go to the page if they wanted to
read more.

> Though I am not at all certain that the hypothetical @aria-link would
> work like @longdesc. Would it?

Only if designed to do so. I think the way UAs deal with @longdesc could
be improved. The question is 'Do we want to build on what @longdesc has
already achieved, or go for a year zero approach?". I am not sure yet.

> The purpose of ARIA seems to me to be to let the UA "compute" the A11Y
> layer on behalf of the author and the user. Whereas @longdesc as well as
> "normal fallback" (such as @alt content and the fallback of <object>)
> are "real" fallback that relies on regular hyper text.

All ARIA does (in this case) is provide more advanced tools for
programmatic association that can be parsed by AT - and therefore help
the user. The use of fallback content, is where the content cannot be
parsed due to some limitation on the part of the user, or even the
browser etc (due to plugins etc). What both of them are aiming to do, it
to provide an equivalent experience.

Cheers

Josh
Received on Friday, 30 October 2009 14:03:19 GMT

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