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Re: ISSUE-30 (Longdesc) Change Proposal

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 08:07:48 -0700
Message-ID: <63df84f0910300807w22edbdf0rc19b42fb507b5838@mail.gmail.com>
To: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Cc: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, public-html@w3.org
On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 4:24 AM, Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie> wrote:
> [Please forgive any crosstalk/mis-attribution in my quotes below]
> Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> This seems like something you should bring up with the WAI group. They
>> were the ones choosing to design @aria-describedby by throwing away
>> @longdesc rather than evolving it.
> This is something that we have looked at. We can escalate it if needed
> in PF. Please note that the development of @aria-describedby etc (in
> fact any ARIA stuff) was a response to the limitations in current
> declarative markup languages. So ARIA stuff is a semantic bridge. There
> was therefore bound to be some overlap with existing elements in HTML
> but then again ARIA is host agnostic and can be plugged into other
> languages like SVG etc where there is no <longdesc>. So its kinda
> disingenuous to suggest there was some causal link.

Sorry, I didn't mean that the WAI did a poor job in designing
@aria-describedby by not following any particular syntax. What I
intended to say was that comments regarding @aria-desribedbys syntax
should be brought up with WAI, not with the HTML WG.

I actually happen to like the fact that @aria-desribedby uses an idref
rather than a URI, since I think in most cases its more appropriate to
include the description in the same document as the <img> or whatever
is begin described. If for no other reason because it makes it more
likely that the two won't get separated when a file is moved or

Note that being in the same resource doesn't mean that I think the
description needs to be displayed by default. I continue to think that
hiding the description using CSS or using the @hidden attribute and
then pointing to it using @aria-describedby is a good solution.

>>>> * Clearer message to authors for how to make their pages accessible
>>> We can have a clear message on the proper implementation of @longdesc that
>>> would be simple to understand and deliver upon.
> If @longdesc does make the final cut, then yes.

I understand what is being said here at all. What I was saying was
that i think it's important to have a clear and simple message to
authors on how to include a description for an element.

The replying comments seem to be talking about something wholly different.

>>>> * Simpler AT tools
>>> ??  AT *today* supports @longdesc - I personally do not think that they
>>> are going to now remove this support in future versions. Why would they?
>>> Just to replace it with aria-describedby? Really?
> I doubt it. The two will probably be supported in tandem - for legacy
> reasons - even if the use of @longdesc is very small. Its a case of
> those who find it useful - well, find it useful.

If implementations want to keep implementing @longdesc that is fine.
The big win to me is simplifying our message to authors regarding how
to make pages accessible.

I.e. being able to say "use @aria-describedby" is a win over saying
"use @aria-describedby, except on an image where you can use
@longdesc, except you probably don't want to use @longdesc if the
description is in the same page since then if the base-uri is set
using <base> since then the relative link in @longdesc no longer
points inside the resource. And on tables you can also use @summary"

>> The same can not be said for @longdesc and @summary, neither of
>>>> which has seen any significant amount of real-world uptake.
>>>> Yes, there is more than zero uptake, but I don't think there is
>>>> enough to warrant having duplicate (or near-duplicate)
>>>> features.
> Again disingenuous. Those who find either feature useful, find it
> useful. Admittedly there has been bad science on both sides (sic) so I
> don't want to add to it a this point. This statement is my own opinion
> and nothing else.

I'm not sure what you feel is disingenuous? This comment wasn't saying
anything about bad decisions by the ARIA spec.

/ Jonas
Received on Friday, 30 October 2009 15:08:49 UTC

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