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Re: Drop longdesc, get aria-describedat?

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 18:18:51 +1100
Message-Id: <3B438775-A08E-48FF-905A-81F2B02C3F07@gmail.com>
Cc: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTMLAccessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Michael Smith <mike@w3.org>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Ok fair enough. That clarifies that point. Thanks.

On 09/03/2012, at 5:33 PM, "John Foliot" <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>>> First off: Steve yesterday confirmed that Internet Explorer's
>> longdesc
>>> implementation is plain wrong: It treats the URL as text string. Thus
>>> it implements it precisely the way the WHATWG blog once ridiculed the
>>> @longdesc usage for.  See this bug:
>>> https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=16268
>> If that is indeed the case, then all those people that have put
>> hyperlinks into the @longdesc attribute have ended up with non-usable
>> longdesc values in IE. @longdesc is therefore not usable for the
>> purposes that we intend it to be used for, since it is not implemented
>> compatibly across browsers.
>> This to me is a very strong argument to move on to a new attribute so
>> we can start on a clean slate for all relevant elements with well
>> defined implementation details.
> Poppycock!
> The problem is that nobody is actually testing or verifying what is going on
> here, but instead rushing to ill-formed conclusions based on unsubstantiated
> data.
> I just tested a page with an image with @longdesc in IE8 on Windows XP using
> JAWs (13), and can (re)confirm that JAWS both announces the fact that a
> longer description exists, and to access it press "Enter". This is a
> repeatable, verifiable test that anyone who cares to can replicate.
> So what is being reported to the AAPI is immaterial - it could very well
> tell the API that it smells like strawberries for all it matters, as the
> consuming tools that are doing something useful with @longdesc today do not
> access information about this attribute from the AAPI, but rather directly
> from the DOM.
> The value exists, is being delivered to the end users, and is more proof
> that the attribute is both supported and useful today.
> What we need, and what we lack natively from the browsers, is the 3 basic
> functions I outlined months ago. They are:
> * Discoverability
> * The ability to proceed to learn more (consume the content referenced by
> @longdesc) or choose to skip over it
> * The need to support HTML rich content (Headings, lists, tables, links,
> etc.)
> In the tools that support @longdesc, they do deliver on all 3 requirements,
> whereas today the Accessibility APIs have no mechanism in place to deliver
> the second and third functions: the AAPI can express that a thing is a thing
> (discoverability, via role and state), but the key other requirement of
> user-choice is a scripted-like function that the APIs currently cannot
> handle, because there is NOTHING in the Accessibility APIs that deliver
> these functions: both the APIs and ARIA were crafted to allow the ability to
> express widget function roles and states (sliders, buttons, etc.) *when they
> are scripted* and not to magically solve all accessibility problems.
> Additionally, "hiding" the longer text description using an ARIA mechanism
> *does* break the requirement for HTML rich content, as content not rendered
> on screen *is* processed by the APIs as string text today.
> The real problem is not how we express the functionality in code (@longdesc,
> aria-describedat, @shiny_new_attribute) but where we are getting support for
> the users. Today, that support sits with some (not all) screen readers (via
> @longdesc), and generally not with the browsers. 
> JF
Received on Friday, 9 March 2012 07:19:36 UTC

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