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Re: Alternative to @aria-describedAT: <a role=img>

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 07:23:20 +0100
Message-ID: <CAEhSh3chsffJcr7CDbTUMqBaA-awTRHz0dXQDuzQL+PmvJqv1w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Cc: Alexander Surkov <surkov.alexander@gmail.com>, wai-xtech <wai-xtech@w3.org>, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM, Leif Halvard Silli
<xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no> wrote:
> I meant "something to use *only* when on cannot use an anchor".

So did I.

>>> To me, the advantage of @longdesc is that that instead of taking the
>>> focus away from the image - like a normal link often does, it instead
>>> focus in on the image.
>> What sort of "focus" are you talking about?
> As in "deeper look/analysis". Also, @longdesc is supposed to let you
> read the image description and thereafter, to be back at the same
> location (where the original image is located) on the page. Thus,
> longdesc does two things: It allows reader to take a deeper - and
> probably textual -  look at the image *and* it allows the user to,
> after the deeper look, be back at the same location in the original
> page. See Laura's prop.

So does <a>. (When you follow a link, then press the back button, user
agents typically return you to the original location.)

>> How does <a> take it away?
> It is more about what positive @longdesc does than about something
> negative with <a>.
>> How does @role="img" give it back?
> It doesn't - not alone. Well, it is a start, and I've said it earlier
> in this thread: One reacts differently to "this is a link" from how one
> reacts to "this is an image".

I don't think you've concretely addressed how you're helping the user.

This is a linked image:

<a href="link"><img src="link" alt="text"></a>

How user agents present/emphasise this is an implementation detail.

>> Are you
>> basing this appraisal on how some very specific user agents happen to
>> represent the markup in question or on the specified semantics that
>> constrain the ways they could represent it?
> I may not understand what you imply - or ask. But the task I have given
> myself is: "I want to use longdesc, but not every UA support it." If
> you read the blog post that I mentioned in the initial message, then
> you'll see that I created something that works in every browser and
> every AT.

But you haven't made a hidden link (@longdesc) work in every browser
and every AT.

>> Can you give a practical example of how shifting the focus helps
>> end-users consume content or services?
> See above. Also, see the CNN front page example I mentioned for
> Alexander.

How would <a role="img"> help on the CNN front page?

>>> OK. aria-describedAT would not not have any effect on e.g. <span
>>> aria-describedat=*>. I suppose no one would "see" it. But if you did
>>> <span role=img aria-describedat=*>, then one would see it.
>> Depends what the content of the <span> is, how the <span> is styled,
>> and how @aria-describedat were to be defined.
> My reason to assume that aria-describedat inside <span
> aria-describedat=l><img></span> would hardly have any effect, is that
> ARIA says that properties and states are not made use of when the
> element's role is (equivalent) to presentational.

Neither <span> nor <img> have an implied "presentation" role.

> So aria-describedat - unlike an anchor - is not something that, alone,
> makes the element focusable. I think. But of course: They have to spec
> aria-describedAT first.

The draft spec for @aria-describedat made the element focusable.

>>>>> And what is the problem with <a role=img href>? What's the principal
>>>>> issue?
>>>> Representing a link to AT as an image instead of a link seems unlikely
>>>> to reflect author intent.
>>> That doesn't sound like a principal issue, to me.
>> Avoiding such failures of communication is the point of many HTML
>> conformance requirements.
> It seems to me that, with ARIA and even with HTMl5's restrictions on
> its use, is is 100% possible to get lost in the wilderness. And so,
> ARIA relies on good authors or accessibility experts that do an
> analysis of how to best use it.

HTML is too complex. HTML+ARIA is way too complex. That's not a good
reason for just making it more and more complex.

>>> And so, as author, I would like to use it as freely as possible.
>  ...
>> I think the logical implication of the argument that authors should be
>> free to use ARIA is that we should replace all author HTML conformance
>> requirements with distributed authoring guides and linters.
>  ...
> I qualified with "as possible".

I don't think the qualification makes any difference. You can remove
all author conformance requirements and fully describe how any content
should be processed by user agents. That determines what is possible,
not what is conformant.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Thursday, 19 April 2012 06:24:12 UTC

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