Re: Call for consensus on longdesc change proposal

On Wed, May 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM, Gez Lemon <> wrote:
> Hi silvia,
>> What makes you think that would be better with the @longdesc
>> attribute? I am concerned that if the argument is "we need longdesc
>> because aria attributes are not in use" the logical next reaction is -
>> let's remove aria attributes then.
>> I'm a developer and I really don't care what the attribute is called
>> as long as it is clear what its purpose is. But I don't see a logical
>> conclusion from "aria attributes have failed" to "let's introduce some
>> other attributes that nobody is using yet to take their place".
>> I agree with Cynthia that that is a very weak argument and likely will
>> just result in a very bad discussion for a11y. Laziness is an argument
>> against a11y, not an argument for @longdesc.
> This isn't so much about WAI-ARIA failing. I completely support
> WAI_ARIA, and think it's a brilliant specification. The fact is there
> is no equivalent of longdesc in WAI-ARIA to provide a long
> description. The longdesc attribute links to a semantically rich
> reference, so users can control how they interact with the content.
> The closest thing in WAI-ARIA to longdesc is the aria-describedby
> attribute, which is mapped to an accessibility API as a string of
> text.
> So for a graph, the user could have a data table they could
> investigate column-by-column, row-by-row (and they can pause at any
> stage, and re-investigate where they are in the content), rather than
> a stream of text that they have no way of controlling how it is
> delivered to them.

I don't dispute that.

However, I'm reacting to this statement being used as an argument for
the re-introduction to @longdesc:

"It is unlikely that many content creators or developers will learn
ARIA (something not native HTML). They already feel like they've
learned far more than they should have to know under their job
description. And in many cases, their supervisors agree. (reference
Cliff Tyllick)"

I think this statement does nothing to help the cause and quoting it
as an argument to introduce @longdesc is harmful. That's all.


Received on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 00:42:12 UTC