[html4all] longdesc and ARIA Re: some reflections on @alt usage
chaals at opera.com
Mon Apr 28 05:25:02 PDT 2008
On Mon, 28 Apr 2008 12:15:09 +0200, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2008/4/28 Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve at gmail.com>:
>> It should be noted that some of the suggestions outlined by John and
>> myself were previously raised by Al and discussed on a thread back in
>> February :
>>  what's machinable [was: Re: ALT issue redux]
> Just to add to my position on using aria-describedby and
> aria-labelledby in response to Al's original message. I think
> aria-describedby could be considered an appropriate alternative to
> longdesc when the description exists in the same page, but obviously
> not when the description is in another document. I can also see there
> may be some edge-cases when aria-labelledby may be considered a
> suitable replacement for alt. These are edge-cases, as ARIA was
> designed to bridge the accessibility gaps with the current structure
> we have. Providing alt text for images wasn't one of those gaps, as
> there is already a suitable attribute.
Yep. In general, it seems a very bad idea to use ARIA where there is
something existing that works, since you are relying on implementations.
Even though 3 of the 4 desktop browsers have ARIA support announced and
demonstrated (in varying stages of maturity - come on Safari, there's
time...) it makes more sense to rely on the older standards than to
somehow try to replace them.
There is a seperate issue, which is really on ARIA, about how browsers
should behave when you have ARIA conflicting with other stuff e.g.
longdesc and aria-describedBy and they point to different things. Should
ARIA be trusted in all cases? Should it be determined seperately for
different ARIA properties? Should we trust the old attributes (this has
the benefit that backwards-compatibility comes up with the same results,
which is probably quite valuable really).
Charles McCathieNevile Opera Software, Standards Group
je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
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