[Bug 10483] New: <figcaption> should be considered the caption of <figure> _itself_


           Summary: <figcaption> should be considered the caption of
                    <figure> _itself_
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: All
               URL: http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/interactive-elements.html
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Keywords: a11y, a11ytf
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P3
         Component: HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson)
        AssignedTo: ian@hixie.ch
        ReportedBy: xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Spec says:

]] The first figcaption element child of the element, if any, represents the
caption of the figure element's contents. If there is no child figcaption
element, then there is no caption. [[

Request: Spec should say that the <figcaption> element captions the <figure>
element _itself_. 


(1) With ARIA-labelledby, it is possible to identify a caption, even if there
is no figcaption element. 

(2) It is not precise enough to say that it represents the caption of "the
figure element's contents". We can make an analogy to the TABLE element: the
<caption> element represents the title of the entire table — it does not only
caption "the table element's contents".

(3) ARIA 1.0 says that authors SHOULD use ARIA-labelledby to identify the
heading, even when the heading element explicitly has a heading role. However,
in my opinion, it ought not (in principle) be necessary at all – once user
agents support <figure> – to make it clear that <figcaption> labels the
<figure>. And ditto for <caption> - it should (in principle) not be necessary
to point to it with aria-labelledby. I interpret the SHOULD in ARIA 1.0 as a
compatibility measure – in case not every user agents is capable of
understanding what a heading captions. However, for a <figure> element (and
<table>) it should be pretty obvious what the caption element is captioning.

Making this distinction also has implications for accessibility and for the use
of ARIA-labelledby: the high expecations about the "automatic" accesibility
from the use fo <figure> IMHO depends on a clear specification of what
<figcaption> by default is captioning.

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Received on Saturday, 28 August 2010 23:37:21 UTC