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Re: Split Issue 30? (was: Chair review of "Keep Longdesc Deprecated" Change Proposal)

From: Charles Pritchard <chuck@jumis.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 01:24:57 -0800
Message-Id: <CDFEE5BA-110A-48B0-94EA-130ADC11E397@jumis.com>
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
On Feb 8, 2012, at 7:11 PM, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc> wrote:

> I agree we have two somewhat independent issues:
> 1. Should ARIA attributes be allowed to point to @hidden elements.
> 2. Should @longdesc be marked as obsolete.
> However it seems like issue 2 depends on issue 1. I.e. the case for
> marking longdesc as obsolete is stronger if ARIA is allowed to point
> to hidden elements.
> Would it be possible to ensure that we decide on 1 before we poll on 2?

ARIA does not have an equivalent feature for longdesc urls.

I responded quite some time ago pointing out how expressive the aria-describedby semantic can be. With Canvas, I am including content in the DOM. But image is a different element with legacy considerations. And longdesc works for a variety of cases.

longdesc works without scripting and can be used to point to a URL. Neither of those are really part of the aria landscape. Yes, aria can be used without scripting, and yes, describedby can point to non-hidden elements as well as hidden ones through various techniques. But it does not work for the publishers that actively use longdesc.

We're going in a circle if we try to put the status of longdesc off until ARIA (or HTML5) can replace it with a new semantic.

I do not see how the web benefits from dropping <img longdesc>. I do see how it benefits from resolving the issue to keep longdesc.

I believe that there are benefits to examining aria-describedby and other ARIA flow vocabularies.

So, again, I'd like to see these two issues separated. I tried to go down the path of just use ARIA, and it just wasn't appropriate for the people who use longdesc. For what it's worth, I never use longdesc. But I write web apps, authoring tools, I am not a content publisher.

Received on Thursday, 9 February 2012 09:25:30 UTC

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