W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > March 2012

Re: Drop longdesc, get aria-describedat?

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 02:48:22 +0100
To: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Cc: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20120310024822703805.64b4143a@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis, Fri, 9 Mar 2012 06:54:35 +0000:
> On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 2:41 AM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis, Fri, 9 Mar 2012 02:03:12 +0000:
>>> How would working on specifying @aria-describedat rather than
>>> @longdesc persuade the opposed user agent representatives or otherwise
>>> deliver wide user agent support?
>> I think ARIA lives in another domain than @longdesc: Longdesc has
>> demands/options for being available to all users. Whereas ARIA is
>> specifically for accessibility.
> It is not possible to draw a line between "all users" and "accessibility".

ARIA and HTML lives in different working groups and in different 
communities. I agree about what you say about all users. But, 
currently, we must play tricks to make it work in all ATs - e.g it 
doesn't work in the increasingly popular VoiceOver and NVDIA. By 
contrast, if you want to expose aria-describedby to non-A11Y users, 
then you must play tricks. And that seems like the right order of 

>> Yeah, deciding once and for all whose responsibility it is to 
>> specify the long description link mechanism,
>> would probably be the most important decision.
> Specifying @longdesc isn't the problem; designing and implementing
> effective user interfaces for it is. I don't think it matters much who
> specifies it if it doesn't make a difference to how or whether such
> interfaces are implemented.

It is my impression that ARIA is pretty internally coherent and also 
that lots of A11Y technicians look at ARIA. Hence, to me it seems 
likely that it would help if 'the attribute' - whatever its name or 
historical origin - was the responsibility of ARIA.
Leif H Silli
Received on Saturday, 10 March 2012 01:49:00 UTC

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