Re: Drop longdesc, get aria-describedat?

Hi Silvia,

At 03:03 PM 3/8/2012 +1100, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 11:42 AM, Judy Brewer <> wrote:
> >
> > 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) 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.
>Independent of what happens with @longdesc, it seems obvious to me
>that describedAt needs to be developed as an ARIA attribute and thus
>the a11y TF doesn't seem to be the right place to develop it. Would
>you agree?

The W3C Working Group that is chartered to work on WAI-ARIA, and that 
has been doing so, as well as collecting input for the next version, 
is the Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG), which would be the 
group appropriately handling aria-describedat.

Information about PFWG is here:

Information about ARIA document development is available here:

The HTML Accessibility (A11y) Task Force is a Joint Task Force of the 
HTML WG and the PFWG; it does not develop the ARIA spec. The ARIA 
Task Force, also under PFWG, does so. Information about both these 
and other PFWG Task Forces (some of which also have sub-teams, as 
indicated, such as the Media Sub-Group to which you have contributed 
greatly) is available here:

Some people have been discussing and/or responding to comments and 
questions about ARIA on the HTML A11y TF list, but I don't think 
anyone proposed developing aria-describedby directly in the HTML A11y 
TF rather than in the group that is chartered to work on it.

> > 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.
>Fair enough. So maybe it's time to develop a spec for
>@aria-describedAt and submit it to PF/WAI for consideration?

I don't see what advantage would be gained by developing a separate 
spec for aria-describedat when that is already intended as part of 
the ARIA 1.1 work planned by the ARIA TF under PFWG.

Please let me know if these clarifications help.


- Judy


Received on Thursday, 8 March 2012 04:47:20 UTC