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Re: aside and figure elements

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2010 11:36:44 +0200
To: Karl Dubost <karl+w3c@la-grange.net>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Bruce Lawson <brucel@opera.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20100608113644593374.7cb6233e@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Karl Dubost, Mon, 7 Jun 2010 20:05:10 -0400:
> The difference between the two examples illustrates two schools of thoughts.
> [
> cut two examples with 
> figure/img/figcaption
> see  for references
> ]
> 1. Descriptive
>    In which the alt tag is used to described what is in the image.
> 2. Text flow
>    In which the alt tag is given an empty value (alt="") 
>    because it would be awkward in the text flow without images.
> Both cases could be valid. 

Indeed. However, HTML5 has generally been a context where the "Text 
flow" school of thought (also known as "visible meta data") has ruled 
the ground. I am therefore (theoretically spoken) surprised to see 
Ian's lay-out of the problem ... 

> It depends on the context and what the text author would like to 
> convey to the readers. 
> It also depends on how "figcaption" element would be treated by 
> assistive technologies. 
> Something part of the text or something special with a marker. 
> For example, in a vocal browser saying something like:
> 	"IMAGE CAPTION blablabla"
> or just
> 	"blablabla"
> If the vocal browser says "IMAGE CAPTION" then the alt with a 
> meaningful content seems to be necessary.

I think the problem is whether we see @role and aria as an integral 
part of HTML5 that user agents *must* support. Or if the view is that 
WAI-ARIA is like a "Cascading Accessibility Sheets", which only some 
are required to support.

E.g. if we do this:

	<figure role='image'>
		<img src="i" alt="" role="presentation">

Then, firstly, a vocal browser *would* say "IMAGE CAPTION blablabla". 
The problem is those UAs that do not support WAI-ARIA. What should we 
do for them? I see these options:

	1) Do nothing. After all, even if they don't support WAI-ARIA, 
       they are required to support <figure>.
	2) Do this: <img alt="See summary!" role="presentation" src="i">
       (This could probably be confusing.)
    3) Duplicate the figure caption inside the @alt. This wouldn't
       bug those who have UAs whic support WAI-ARIA.

I wonder if not 1) is the best approach.

Another approach could be to make sure that @alt and the the figure 
caption are used for different things (or at least contain different 
text). E.g. in Ian's example, the @alt contains optional information 
and thus that @alt falls into the aria-describedby category (while the 
figure caption, of course, falls into the aria-labelledby category):

<figure role="img" aria-describedby="img-element" >
 	<img id="img-element" src="ceo"  
          alt="Photograph: A tall man with brown hair, 
               and a moustache sits at a keyboard while
               smiling to the camera." >
		Brian Slick, CEO of Blammo Corp, leveraging a 
leif halvard silli
Received on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 09:37:50 UTC

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