Re: Drop longdesc, get aria-describedat?

Judy Brewer, Wed, 07 Mar 2012 19:42:37 -0500:

>>>> My druthers would be to accept longdesc right away and call it obsolete
>>>> but conforming.

>> How do we get consensus for 'obsolete but conforming' + a CG

> I suggest you come to an HTML A11Y meeting for discussion; the next 
> one is scheduled for March 15th, due to other accessibility meetings 
> and conferences this week; or better yet to the text alternatives 
> sub-team meeting (next one should be March 13th and I am happy to put 
> this on the agenda)

I'm interested in discussing this, if Janina is. If so, which of the 
two dates would be most suitable?

> where we had been exploring this specific 
> category of issues in more depth. Also, please note that there has 
> been heavy discussion around many approaches on this already, and the 
> multiple delays by the HTML WG on processing the longdesc change 
> proposal may at this point themselves be contributing to the 
> confusion regarding alternative solutions on this question. The 
> TF-supported change proposal on longdesc is still overdue for a fair 
> hearing; getting another change proposal considered ahead of that 
> would be bad process.

Not 'ahead'. Only as a third or fourth CP - alongside the nochange and 
Laura's CP etc. The chairs have just made some comments on Laura's CP. 
At some point there will be a decision, and it that that point that I 
say that there perhaps should be a 'obsolete but conforming' option.

> As for a community group approach, note that that does nothing to 
> actually standardize anything, only to explore an issue. Creating a 
> community group for aria-describedat outside of the people who've 
> been working most directly on developing ARIA, and already thinking 
> about aria-describedat in some depth, could slow rather than speed 
> things up, or at best not materially change the timeline.

I would, personally, prefer that such a describedAT spec was specced 
without - for instance - my involvement. Nothing would be better if the 
ARIA WG/community specify it. May be CG is not the right approach. But 
a mini-spec could be the right approach. HTML5 itself can't invent 
aria-describedat - it must reference some spec or draft.

>> Meanwhile, another option: What if HTML5 simply was silent on @longdesc
>> ... I mean: If we want to reuse @longdesc in ARIA - rather than
>> creating a new @aria-describedAT, then HTML5 should not say that it is
>> obsolete and should as well, not say that it is conforming - until it
>> has been defined.
> Another option is to add your voice to requesting that the 
> TF-supported longdesc proposal actually gets direct consideration and 
> fair hearing under the HTML WG decision policy, as is supposedly 
> imminent; though previous indications of imminence haven't yet borne 
> fruit...........

That an 'obsolete but conforming' CP - or any other CP - materializes, 
would not inflict on that. It would only mean that yet another CP would 
be heard, together with the current ones. Meanwhile, I have supported 
and contributed to Laura's CP. But I have also heard the latest 
responses form the chairs. It is quite possible that sitting quietly in 
the boat would have been the best - or just as good. However, it it  is 
good for myself to finally have understood, that - to many in the 
HTMLWg and the A11Y TF, the @longdesc conformance is only a temporary 
solution anyway. That something is temporary, is often not a good 
reason to allow it. But on the other hand, that it is temporary, also 
affects how binding vendors would see @longdesc's presence in the spec. 
And, hence it would be less controversial to have it in the spec. And 
the chairs are looking for lack of controversy.

Perhaps I misremember, but I think that in the previous vote, the 
'obsolete but conforming' status was rejected because the justification 
for that status bordered on 'it would not hurt if it was conforming'. 
But I think we can say that it hurts: Authors must then use another 
spec, in other to be conforming. And that does not make sense when we 
want people to switch to HTML5.
Leif Halvard Silli

Received on Thursday, 8 March 2012 02:02:15 UTC