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Re: aria-describedat

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 17:36:42 -0400
Message-ID: <20120329173642.20764dpe828m47oq@wats.ca>
To: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Cc: david bolter <david.bolter@gmail.com>, Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>, faulkner.steve@gmail.com, jbrewer@w3.org, George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>, laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com, mike@w3.org, public-html-a11y@w3.org, w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Quoting Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>:

>> Not MetaData, real, human-readable textual data that describes in more
>> detail what the *foo* is that it is attached to.
> Metadata = data about data.
> long description = a long description (i.e. data) about the element  
> (i.e. data)

Hair-splitter <grin>. For many garden-variety web authors, metadata  
has a "special" connotation of <meta name="keywords" content="try,  
fool, search, engines, stuffing, hokum">, so I would ask we avoid  
adding any additional confusion and just not refer to longer textual  
descriptions as metadata.

>> Minor correction here: JAWS *has* introduced a new interaction for
>> @longdesc. When JAWS encounters the @longdesc attribute in an <img>, it
>> announces the @alt text and then states: "Press ALT plus Enter for Long
>> Description" - and then pauses waiting for the user to tab (continue) or hit
>> enter (explore).
> You mean: hit alt-enter?

Alt+Enter (simultaneously).

> In any case: this is an interaction that the screenreader creates and
> not one that the browser creates.

Exactly, which is the key difference between JAWS and NVDA w.r.t.  
@longdesc: NVDA does not want to be in the position of defining a  
user-interaction, but rather map to a pre-defined interaction 'native'  
to the browser.

> That's the key difference.
> I guess, we could ask if browsers would agree to using alt-enter as
> the recommended interaction for the new attribute.

I think that *might* be one of a few possible strategies, but I would  
caution recommending a single solution, and rather allow for  
user-agents to develop appropriate contextual strategies. On the  
Desktop, I think the contextual menu is a working and a workable  
solution for many sighted users (Mouse right-click, or for keyboard  
users Shift+F10 >> Tab to "longdescy thing" >> Enter), and/but a  
screen reader could map that interaction pattern to a custom keyboard  
control (such as Alt+Enter). I think that the mobile experience might,  
by necessity be very different however, as the traditional  
mouse/keyboard affordances simply are not there.

It would be extremely useful non-the-less if all browsers followed a  
general interaction pattern for inter-op benefits.  I note as well  
that this does not address the discoverability issue, only the  
interaction issue.

Received on Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:37:30 UTC

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