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Re: 48-Hour Consensus Call: ARIA-DescribedAT & Longdesc

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 17:57:10 -0400
Message-ID: <20120329175710.66953ymtu9i3f0dy@wats.ca>
To: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Quoting Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>:

> Secondly my opinion: if we are not planning to introduce a
> @aria-describedAt attribute into HTML5, we should drop issues 194 [3]
> and 203 [4] and defer them to HTML.next. I don't want to see the
> problem of long descriptions / transcripts solved for <video> elements
> in isolation from other elements. It would make more sense to have a
> common solution on all elements.

Hi Silvia,

While I generally agree with your sentiment here, I strongly disagree  
with the notion that a full transcript of a longer-form video is the  
"longer description" of the video itself, and conflating the two is  
misleading and inappropriate. A transcript has a "legal" place in many  
legislated requirements, and is its own unique textual file,  
independent of a longer description of what a video is about - it is  
instead a verbatim recording of dialog, etc. of a video. What would we  
use to provide a longer textual description of "Un Chien Andalou"?

Issue 194 has been granted an extension by the Chairs while Ted  
O'Connor works on a Change Proposal, but deferring this important  
requirement to some .next version of HTML is unacceptable to me, and I  
would guess others inside the a11y-TF, so I would oppose any movement  
in that direction.

I believe that Issue 203 should be deferred, and have said so already,  
but the Chairs took umbrage in how I did that. Yet the justification  
for deferring any movement on Issue 203 is that we have existing, open  
Issues that, if all successfully resolved would have the net effect of  
also closing Issue 203; conversely if we do not have decisions on  
other open issues (notably Issue 30) then it is mighty hard to propose  
solutions to the over-arching problem described in Issue 203.

As David Bolter noted in his response to this thread, there is a value  
in having native attributes in HTML5 to address accessibility issues  
(above and beyond relying on ARIA), and I tend to also agree with that  
perspective. I will only 'settle' on an ARIA solution if a native  
solution does not exist. This is consistent with how the entire  
process of integrating ARIA into HTML5 began:

      "The working group likes the idea of having built in semantics in HTML
and in particular would prefer to have common document elements, such
as widgets built in to the markup. This reduces download size and the
effort required to make a web page accessible. For these reasons, we
would promote the use of such markup over the ARIA approach."
  - Al Gilman [then Chair of PFWG] (July, 2007)  

Giving up on finding a solution for Issue 203 today, simply because  
aria-describedat will not fit within the HTML5 time-line is a  
dereliction of our responsibilities.


> Regards,
> Silvia.
> [1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc
> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/obsolete.html#non-conforming-features
> [3] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/194
> [4] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/203
Received on Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:57:33 UTC

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