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

Re: Description link consensus

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2012 06:19:00 +0100
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20120324061900795647.24976ea7@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Laura Carlson, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 12:07:25 -0500:
> The question I would ask HTML5 Accessibility Task Force members is if
> they agree to lose the opportunity to provide a native HTML5 long
> description feature for other elements besides <img> and agree to
> shirk off that responsibility to a future version of

May be we should put off that question too, until after your CP has 
been evaluated? I have now withdrawn my own such extension proposal. 
[1] Or you could promise yourself or whoever to do take it up - despite 
what Sam has said to that idea - but nevertheless move on, for now.

> If no use
> cases exist maybe we have it covered and I worry for nothing.

At least in a general sense, use cases exist - it seems to me the A11Y 
TF agree on that. And it is OK to me if @longdesc gets added to more 

But I would nevertheless justify a special description link attribute 
in HTML5 solely for <img> this way: HTML is the document language of 
the Web. And <img> is the predominant way to include images in HTML. 
Which justifies @longdesc - and @alt - as opposed to ARIA attributes, 
on the <img> element - especially since we do not have any ARIA 
substitute and - if an ARIA attribute gets specced - will not get it 
deployed in a long time. Also, since any image format can be embedded 
via <img> {even ASCII art, if one is dedicated and daring: [2]}, the 
<img> element allows conscious authors to add longdesc to almost any 
image. Finally, with regard to non-embedded elements, then I don't 
think we are ready to add it to e.g. <table> in HTML, yet, due to the 
lack of a contextual menu for that element  - this was also reflected 
in my CP.

Also, I do ask myself whether there exists a use case for 'global' 
HTML-native attribute unless that attribute can also be used in other 
syntaxes, such as SVG, which - starting with HTML5 - can be included in 
HTML documents. Thus I can see that there will have to be clear and 
important benefits to a HTML-only attribute - such as there is for 
img@longdesc - before that would make real sense to those who are 
supposed get it implemented.

> [2] "Note that WAI-ARIA is intended to be a bridging technology. It is
> expected that, over time, host languages will evolve to provide
> semantics for objects that currently can only be declared with
> WAI-ARIA." - PFWG Charter. http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/charter201006

One interpretation of 'bridging' is 'across any host language', which 
certainly is one goal of ARIA. E.g the reason why the SVG group has 
added native support for @role and ARIA is so that one may use the same 
techniques in both HTML and SVG.

The other sense of 'bridging' probably has more to do with new elements 
and new element combinations, than with new attributes - I imagine that 
that is what 'objects' in the PFWG charter refers to. But at any rate: 
'Temporary solution' is not the sole meaning of 'bridging'.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Mar/0701
[2] Don't do this at home:
Leif H Silli
Received on Saturday, 24 March 2012 05:19:34 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 19:56:06 UTC