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RE: Revert request

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 23:46:28 -0700
To: "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: "'Michael[tm] Smith'" <mike@w3.org>, "'Paul Cotton'" <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <03ad01cd01ae$30ea2140$92be63c0$@ca>
Sam Ruby wrote:
> At the
> present time, I see two potential candidates for new information.  One
> is the subject of issue 204.  The other would be somebody putting
> forward a spec for something akin to an aria-describedAt attribute.
> Given all of that, the best way to expedite issue 30 is to come to a
> quick consensus on 204 and get a clear statement that aria-describedAt
> will not be pursued.  Once both of those are in place, I can see a
> survey proceeding.

I am sorry Sam, but that very much sounds like an ultimatum that has, as a side effect, a significant blocking effect on any ARIA attribute (which would take a significant amount of time to see implemented across user agents) emerging. It is almost a dare to *NOT* do something in the short-term, for fear that it will have a negative effect on @longdesc's fate. 

Frankly, that is a despicable position to be placed in, and while I will charitably grant that you are likely not implying that, it is none-the-less one interpretation of what you have just said. 

The question of whether or not @longdesc should be retained as a fully conformant part of HTML5 should not be dependent on future wishes, goals, desires or dreams. Put another way, what happens in ARIA in the short and long-term should have zero effect on what HTML5 will or will not do with a legacy HTML attribute.

> As to aria-describedAt, we have statements from Judy and Janina, but a
> consensus call from the a11y TF would be helpful here.  This is a case
> where the long period of time since the issue was originally opened
> will
> be relevant.  People can argue that someday somebody might spec
> something that is better/more likely to be supported/etc., and even
> believe that there are plausible paths by which such could be
> accomplished -- if nobody actually does that work, that result speaks
> for itself.

And herein lies the rub: as even Ian Hickson is fond to point out, a spec that sees no adoption is fiction. Chaals has already indicated that creating a new spec for aria-describedat is not the hard part (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2012Mar/0093.html) - that could be done in a very short time frame - it is the adoption of that spec that is critical in judging whether the new spec is a functionally superior solution than the one we have today. Thus even if a new spec emerges, that alone is insufficient to be the basis of whether or not @longdesc should be obsolete.

To suggest otherwise is to introduce a biased perspective to the subject at hand.

Received on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 06:46:57 UTC

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