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Re: False aria-describedby expectations in ARIA Authoring Practices (longdesc)

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:28:02 -0700
Message-ID: <BANLkTik_ZCsKim65weDYUtYQA6yEW0uEBA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>, Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@alum.mit.edu>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTMLwg <public-html@w3.org>, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>, David Bolter <dbolter@mozilla.com>
On Sat, Apr 23, 2011 at 1:31 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
> On Apr 22, 2011, at 11:13 PM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> On Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM, Leif Halvard Silli
>> <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no> wrote:
>>> Jonas Sicking, Fri, 22 Apr 2011 15:08:11 -0700:
>>>> On Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 2:25 PM, Steve Faulkner wrote:
>>>>> In fact, we could even display a context menu item
>>>> for each link if there are multiple as aria-describedby allows
>>>> pointing to multiple elements, many of which could be links.
>>> Then some would use @aria-describedby for the purpose of the link,
>>> while others would use it for the purpose of its text content = purpose
>>> crash.
>> That is your interpretation of the ARIA spec. One that I don't agree
>> with. And based on the subject of this thread, one that the spec
>> editors might not agree with either.
>> My interpretation is that everyone should see the link. *That* would
>> be the best solution for everyone. No matter what we do with regards
>> to @longdesc it seems that it's better for AT users if they do indeed
>> see the semantics of the elements pointed to by aria-describedby.
> I'm not sure if you have in mind the semantics of a link, or the user experience of a link.
> The interaction model doesn't have to be that of a link to still reflect the semantics of the referenced text. A screen reader could simply read the referenced content when the user chooses to see a description, including all the usual cues it would if reading that markup directly, but then return you to where you were in the document. I tend to think that would be a better user experience than a model where you follow a link and then navigate back.

Indeed. That is exactly what I'm proposing. When reading the
description linked to by aria-describedby, read it just like you'd
read any other piece of markup. I.e. including how you interpret the
semantics of <a> or <em>.

However this is something that only AT users normally use. People that
use the browsers native UI tends to not follow or even see
aria-describedby. However as a browser we easily could expose that the
same way that we expose @longdesc.

/ Jonas
Received on Monday, 25 April 2011 20:28:59 UTC

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