Re: Consensus on longdesc change proposal

On Mon, May 30, 2011 at 9:09 PM, Charles McCathieNevile
<> wrote:
> On Thu, 26 May 2011 02:50:15 +0200, Silvia Pfeiffer
> <> wrote:
>> Thanks, Laura, for making some of the changes that I suggested.
>> Actually, I want to discuss another question - one that will likely be
>> core to the discussion with Jonas' proposed change proposal.
>> The longdesc change proposal says in the section on "Suggested
>> Alternatives Are Not Viable Solutions" about aria-describedby:
>> "aria-describedby kills off links: ARIA 1.0 specifies that anything
>> that aria-describedby points to is presented to the user as if it
>> occurred inside an attribute. Hence, if aria-describedby points to an
>> element which is - or contains - a link, the link will be completely
>> dead - the AT won't even inform the user about the link presence. "
>> I believe from recent discussions that ARIA specifies no such thing,
> It is ambiguous, but the definition refers to the definition of
> aria-labeledBy which refers to
> which states that the value is a string (i.e. not markup)
> The definition also states that the reference is an ID reference, which
> (following the white rabbit again until you finally get a statement) means
> *within* the current
> document.
>> but just that this is just the way in which screenreaders have
>> implemented support for aria-describedby. Also, IIUC it is an
>> intention that screenreaders should be changed, in particular that
>> they should provide links and change the language model if a @lang
>> attribute is given in a section linked to by aria-describedby.
>> It might be good to discuss this.
> Yep. These would be good things to change in the spec and implementations.
> Indeed, it is possible to change the software ahead of the spec, but it
> hasn't happened.
> The "legacy" in longdesc is partially the implementation, but substantially
> the adivce given over the last decade, and only starting to be followed now.
> It makes sense to start updating that advice to use the better
> "longdesc-to-come" when it comes - but in the meantime that would be the
> sort of wishful thinking that accessibility advocates have (to some extent
> rightly, but at other times completely groundlessly) been accused of
> engaging in to the detriment of actual improvements in accessibility.

Don't get me wrong. I am not stating that @longdesc is not necessary
because of @aria-describedby. @longdesc clearly has the advantage of
pointing to off-page content, which @aria-describedby clearly does
not. I am just wondering if for on-page content @aria-describedby
could be made a lot more useful if it did interpret markup and that
that from what Janina said at the last media subgroup meeting it may
indeed be something WAI is already considering, seeing as the
definition is not quite clear.


Received on Monday, 30 May 2011 12:04:19 UTC