Re: Is ARIA A11y only? [Was: @aria-describedat at-risk ...]

We are not in candidate recommendation stage. It is too early to state it
is at risk.

You have also raised technical issues with longdesc but as far as I can
tell it seems to have gone forward. To be honest I have avoided that whole

You are completely wrong that aria-describedat cannot be implemented in a
device independent way. Both ATK/ATSPI and IA2 have the ability to expose
activation of aria-described at as one or more of a collection of action. I
don't know how Microsoft has implemented longdesc in UIA but I believe
there is a programmatic way to activate it. UIA also supports design
patterns. If one were not provided one could easily create a new control
pattern that would allow for device independent activation of the
aria-describedat URL. I believe that Firefox did support that functionality
when it supported longdesc.  An AT could bring up a menu of options should
other actions be applicable to the object.

It is not your decision to put something at risk. It is the working groups
decision. Period. It is inappropriate that you made a decision on behalf of
the working group. We are not even remotely close to CR. Furthermore, the
stake holder that requested this feature is part of PF and you initiated
this discussion on a list not used for the ARIA specification and they
don't even have a seat at the table.

I think everyone knows that you have raised concerns about longdesc. This
is not news to anyone.


Rich Schwerdtfeger

From: James Craig <>
To: Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
Cc: Dominic Mazzoni <>, Janina Sajka
            <>, WAI XTech <>, "Ted
            O'Connor" <>, David Singer <>
Date: 12/09/2014 09:39 PM
Subject: Re: Is ARIA A11y only? [Was: @aria-describedat at-risk ...]

      On Dec 9, 2014, at 12:46 PM, Richard Schwerdtfeger <
      > wrote:

      The ARIA task force did not reach consensus on this and you should
      not be posting what is at risk.

The requirement in question (not the entire property) is not implemented
and several implementors have indicated an unwillingness and/or concern
regarding implementation, which means it's at risk whether the working
group has consensus or not.

The only edit I made this week was requested by Janina and Michael, which
was to remove the noted comments from the specification and instead point
to the list archive where the discussion could continue… as it is
continuing. They specifically requested a publicly postable archive, so
XTech was the logical place.

      I understand you have a personal issue on this but that should not
      pass to group consensus.


I have no personal issue against this and reject the implication that my
edits were somehow personally motivated. If I let personal motivations
drive my edits, I would never have added the property in the first place. I
do, however, have *technical* issues with these requirements, as I
expressed to the group on numerous occasions:

            User agents should provide a device-independent mechanism to
            allow a user to navigate the user agent to content referenced
            by the aria-describedat attribute. User agents should also
            provide a device-independent mechanism to return the user's
            focus from the descriptive content view to the original content
            view. For example, a user agent may provide access to the
            document or document fragment referenced by the
            aria-describedat attribute in a contextual menu associated with
            the object.

These requirements are specifically *NOT IMPLEMENTABLE* in any reasonable
way because they do not follow any established ARIA pattern, and conflict
with the defined behavior of every native host language. The requirements
are at-risk, so they are marked as at-risk. It would be inappropriate if I
did *not* note the at-risk status.


Received on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 21:29:02 UTC