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[Bug 10967] New: Add @desclink, a description link attr. for any embedded element + figure

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sat, 02 Oct 2010 10:08:34 +0000
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-10967-2495@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>

           Summary: Add @desclink, a description link attr. for any
                    embedded element + figure
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: All
               URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/embedded-content-1.html#emb
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Keywords: a11y, a11y_text-alt
          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-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org,

* a new attribute: @desclink ("description link")
* contains: URI
* for: img, embed, object, video, audio, iframe, canvas, figure
* purpose: to offer a link to a description of the embedded resource or figure; 

   NOTE: a <figure> may have role=img. In that case, an anchor elment inside
the <figure> elment would not be treated as a link by ARIA-supporting AT.
Therefore @desclink would be useful for <figure>. A figure might also be reused
in many contexts, the same way as an image might be reused, which is another
reason why a central description might exist and might be useful - hence
@desclink would be useful.

* all uses and in particular AT users sometimes need in depth descriptions of
resources that are inaccessible to them 
* any embedded resource could need a programmatically associated link to a
relevant description
* today there is no global, programmatic way to link to descriptions 
   (the current solution, @longdesc, is limited to img and iframe)
* that the attribute's name should be clear and telling 
   (the name of the current solution, @longdesc, may have contributed to misuse
and misunderstanding)
* that a description link  may be used even when the element is wrapped in an
anchor element;
* user choice: unlike for @alt and the @aria-* attributes, a link is optional
to follow
* that the description may contain markup (in contrast to @aria-describedby,
which is presented as "plain text" to the user)
* a description might be - but need not be - somewhat context independent 
   (in contrast, anchor links are typically understood as directly related to
the context)
* by understanding the general description of the object, the user will be in
better possition to understand the concrete use of the object

* @longdesc without the misuse and misunderstanding that is associated with
* @longdesc without its limitation to the <img> and <iframe> elments only
* @desclink (description link) is an easier to understand name than @longdesc
* @desclink would not conflict with a possible <a> wrapper
* an attribute is a very strong programatical association 
   (in contrast, a wrapper element has a little bit weaker association)

* can only be used for elements in the XHTML namespace. 
  (in contrast, a designated element wrapper (bug 10938) with a desription link
attribute could also be wrapped around foreign namespaces elements, such as
<math> and <svg>)
* just as for @longdesc, there is no way for the author to govern the link
text: the description announcement text must thus be programmed into the reader
- this has issues w.r.t. internationalization etc. Perhaps it could also affect
the speed at which the feature is added to AT. 
* to reuse an existing attribute (@longdesc or @href) would probably have had
better AT compatibility, but is not possible, AFAICT. (Such resuse would
probably be possible/simpler if the attribute had been added to a new
description link element - see bug 10938)

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Received on Saturday, 2 October 2010 10:08:37 UTC

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