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Re: ISSUE-30 (Longdesc) Change Proposal

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2009 23:51:00 +0100
Message-ID: <4AE627D4.8080802@xn--mlform-iua.no>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
CC: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Jonas Sicking On 09-10-26 22.55:

> On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 11:26 AM, Leif Halvard Silli
> <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no> wrote:
>>> However, it has been implemented multiple times successfully. The fact
>>>  that there is bad data associated might account for low overall usage, but
>>>  has relatively little impact on implementations, which can readily choose
>>>  to simply ignore values which are not URIs, or even to present the value
>>>  to the user, and relatively little impact on the user, who can still
>>>  benefit from a *good* usage.
>>> This would require conformance checking to accept the attribute as valid,
>>>  and would imply maintaining the existing requirement on Authoring Tools[2]
>>>  to allow the author to use this functionality. It would maintain
>>>  conformance of HTML-4 tools and content, rather than the current expected
>>>  change leaving them non-conforming.
>> Another argument for this feature is, I think (as have been mentioned
>> earlier) that aria-describedby="" can be used for the same thing.

I found Lachlan's comment in September: [1]

> That would just be reinventing longdesc with a different name without 
> solving any of the problems that longdesc has.

However, upon rereading, it seems like Lachlan was actually 
expressing satisfaction that describedby and longdesc has not been 
defined the same way. There are other comments in that same thread 
expressing similar things.

> Wouldn't that be an argument *against* either @longdesc or
> @aria-describedby? Having two features with the same purpose seems
> like a bad thing. Or am I misunderstanding something?

You at least found this part of my reply more interesting to 
comment than the rest of my message ...

Hypothetically, *if* @aria-describedby and @longdesc were the same 
thing, then it would have meant that in 2009, a W3 working group 
has found the @longdesc feature worth specifying, again. That 
would be a tribute to longdesc, I think. We could then have 
offered @longdesc a luxury pension: obsolete but valid.

However, as the rest of my letter hinted, @longdesc and 
aria-describedby are different. @longdesc has a much more fixed 
behavior than aria-describedby has - and is much more single 
purposed than aria-describedby. See the other replies in this 
thread. The primary specialty of longdesc is simply that it is 
only meant for IMG, FRAME and IFRAME - the rest of its inherited 
behavior follows from that.

I think now that we have gotten aria-describedby, we do not need 
to "bend over backwards" for either of them, but can let each of 
them have their own specialties.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Sep/0594
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 26 October 2009 22:51:35 UTC

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