Text Alternatives Subgroup of HTML Accessibility Task Force

18 Apr 2011


See also: IRC log


Gregory_Rosmaita, Janina_Sajka, John_Foliot, Judy, LynnH, Rich, Steve_Faulkner, mranon


trackbot, start meeting

Grr... still learning this stuff - command?

<oedipus> trackbot, please join

trackbot, start meeting

<oedipus> http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/32212/201105_ftf/

http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/index.php?title=Scribe_List )

alternatives, including: longdesc:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Aug/0112.html ;


http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Apr/0091.html ;

poster-alt: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Mar/0690.html

confirm who/when

zaxim, item 1

Identify Scribe (list for PFWG generally: http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/index.php?title=Scribe_List )

<scribe> scribe: jf

<oedipus> i/MK: moved my actions to 25th/scribenick: oedipus/

<oedipus> i/action-762?/scribenick: mattking/

As JF struggles with zakim commands, attendees round-robin introductions

close agendum

Organizing Our Work

JB: we may have others join the call today as scheduling permits
... review of goals of this sub-team

concerns about longdesc, table summary, poster-alt

we will look at each of these decisions and have discussions where useful, analyze , offer clarifications, etc.

if that is not successful, then sub-group may look at FO, possibly coupled with expedited appeals to the director

Judy can offer details and background on process options if required

hopes that this is not the main focus of this group howeer

JB: any further comments, questions or scope of this sub-group

JS: nothing to add, this was a good summary

<oedipus> JF: logged FO against chairs' poster decision

MY FO for Poster-alt: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Mar/0697.html

<oedipus> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Mar/0697.html

name of group: text alternatives sub-group - any objections?

JB: with no objections, that's the name of the group
... organization: between the 3 different items to date, there seems to be some similarities across the 3

we have seen a lot of on-line discussion on these topics as well

hope to identify any questions or differences of opinion, etc.

hope that we can clarify and resolve quickly

Judy may ask people on the calls to seek greater clarity. we may need to use some wiki space to manage this

JB: who has read all 3 of these in detail

<oedipus> GJR has

SF: have read them, looking for the recurring similarities, don't actually see anything

JB: items such as low usage, hidden data, etc.

SF: these were countered as weak arguments

JB: items such s uncontested arguments

<oedipus> http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs

SF: the chairs looked at various items, and rejected many items as weak arguments

JB: low usage as a weak argument was a concern

<oedipus> HTML 4.01 was subject to an intensive analysis for potential and known accessibility issues before it became a recommendation in December 1997. By the time activity on HTML5 was moved to the W3C, however, many such features had been stripped from HTML, many as "neglible use cases". Since then, however, previously deprecated accessibility features have begun to creep back into HTML5. This...

<oedipus> ...change proposal, therefore, seeks to provide a safety net for known, implemented features, functions, and syntax which was specifically added to HTML 4.01 to increase accessibility, and for which there have not been any advances or improvements in HTML5. This is particularly important as HTML5 is being implemented piecemeal by developers, before a static specification is achieved --...

<oedipus> ...therefore, HTML5 should retain those accessibility features of HTML in order to facillitate the ability of persons with disabilities to use sites and user agents that are incrementally phasing in support for HTML5 markup.

<oedipus> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/restore4a11y

low frequency argument is seen as damaging to accessibility

reviewing the different rejections, one of the other issues was concerns about hidden meta-data

link-rot, etc.

longdesc, table summary, etc. may evolve, move to ARIA as a stronger mechanism

(JF +1 to Judy)

JB: use this group to clarify and get stronger consensus on these topics


<oedipus> JF: 1 thing mentioned was moving some of these things into ARIA as new "home" for evolution of accessibility solutions -- want to express concern about that -- backwards move to push a11y on ARIA -- ARIA bridging tech until needed native semantics provided by ML devs; concerned moving in backwards directtion; ARIA is not the savior/only solution -- open to being convinced i am wrong, but...

<oedipus> ...think that ARIA as it evolved was for dynamic web content (JS and widgets, roles, states and properties)


I have a different opinion to John

re: ghettoiazation and step backward

these are very specific solutions to specific problems, prefer to see more generic solutions to these problems

some say that it might be better to have an attibute that has greater reach - could be used with canvas etc.

hving a more generic method makes it more extensibile

RS: bridging technology argument was to appease the HTML WG

honestly, to just sprinkle some semantics on something to make it accessible is a good thing

adds declarations easily

in native OS, this is very complicated

with ARIA, set an attribute, and the browser does all the heavy lifting

now we can use ARIA to support SVG, and standard controls

there remains a lot of work on the standard controls

the problem I now have is that the HTML5 implementation for sthings like summary is inconsistant across browsers

there are multiple things that authors need to do, and when we move to other languages it does it differently

having a consistant way of doing this across many languages is a positive thing

now that ARIA is part of the HTML5 spec, we have som win

it was designed to be a cross-cutting solution for multiple languges

<oedipus> what does aria-label mean for someone not using AT?

positive to have have something across multiple OSes and browsers

robust ARIA would even make WCAG2 easier

JB: thanks for the input to date from JF, SF, RS

would like to pull out some requirements

<richardschwerdtfe> I just lost my phone

<richardschwerdtfe> sorry

<richardschwerdtfe> be right back

GJR: appreciate the therory, but what is the impact on users not using AT?

<Stevef> apologies I have to go

(waiting for RS to re-join us)

GJR: it is very appealing to have one common syntax

but most of this is designed to work with a11y APIs, and there are a large portion of users not using AT that needs some of this

we need to re-examine some of the basic assumptions of ARIA

RS: does summary actually show up?
... works with AT.

GJR: how does ARIA labeledby work for users who are not using AT?

RS: if you have a table with @summary, what does a sighted user see?



<Zakim> oedipus, you wanted to ask about ARIA for those not using AT

wants to check something here. Is revisiting ARIA something that can be done without re-opening ARIA

as advisory data - styling, etc.

JB: one thing to note is that changing the way a11y is being designed due to appeasement is a bad way to design

hope that this is not the main factor in revisiting

<oedipus> GJR wanted to point out if move towards aria-based solution, will need a massive new addition to the ARIA Authoring and Best Practices documents on how to design so that ARIA info is communicated to those not using an assistive technology

if better a11y is achieved by restoring these features, we should go that way

however if a11y can be met better by using ARIA, then that is important info as well

hears different points of view

would be good to prove this in fact

not eager to take a long detour, but curious to check to see how much agreement there might be]

ie: cross UA support, etc.

<judy> testing potential agreement on a simple set of requirements:

J how easily could we get cross UA support of ARIA

RS: we just positioned ARIA as a bridging technology - everything will be handled by the host language

we did not intend that/d o that

we didn't use ARIA to apease the WG

JB: not a 'diss' on ARIA
... one of the things I am wondering is I hear people express different opinions and map against requirements

hear concerns about cross UA support from GJR and JF

<oedipus> any info conveyed to an a11y API via ARIA would also need to be conveyed in a device independent manner to non-AT users

second item is that implementationn is important

other item of concern is consistancy in implementation

one requirement to not break backward compat

there is a body of @longdesc content in existance already

<oedipus> doesn't HTML5 have a mandate about backwards compatibility -- will check

this may introduce conerns

would it be useful to state some of this as shared views of requirements?

<oedipus> proposed requirements for verbose descriptor mechanisms: http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs

JS: glad to see us talking about not breaking backward compat

if we go around on these diff attributes, we can pretty much agree that there is something there that neads to be captured

we need a programaticaly specific means to select the larger data, and not always be forced it

<oedipus> strong plus 1 on ARIA-as-filtering device utility

so if is all in the same kind of element (attribute) it may not be useful

JS: I like that ARIA is mapping to APIs here, but we are also violating a fundemental principle by throwing out the old in favor of the new, when the new is unclear

so when looking at items such as table summary, the weaker objection says use ARIA - fine but not yet implelemented

seems short sighted to simply suggest that ARIA is ready for replacement

(+1 to Janina re: obsolencence)

can we improve longdesc and summary? yes

underlying principle is that we not discard historical attributes, relyability of our work

keep the baseline we have already established - we have others that expect us to do so

we are not yet there on understaning how ARIA can solve all these issues

JB: will go through the queue

<inserted> scribenick: oedipus

JF: one thing important is to look at what has already started to happen -- concerned about @longdesc -- talked with many devs face2face -- discoverability issue is the "problem" -- not the mechanism
... poked chaals, and there is now plug-in for @longdesc for opera with a visual indication and a DI-independent way of exposition
... a11y features of HTML4 available for over a decade -- should honor that -- issue is that we have mechanisms in place, problem is doing something usefull for sighted users with a11y -specific markup
... takes a while for adaptation -- next major step is GUI based browsers need to do something useful with this stuff--already supported if UA supports HTML4
... moving techs into cross-ML support doc is good, but concerned about throwing out what is available and should reamain available

<inserted> scribenick: JF

RS: the thing I had the biggest issue with is that I agree that dumping @longdesc completely is a problem

we need a deprecation strategy

to give us a chance to get WCAG 2, EOWG to get ducks in order

but cold-turkey dumping is busted

JB: anybody disagree with rich's point? (none)

example of something that hope to communicate in an organized way

we worked hard to make these points

can we capture that as a resoultion for this group?

touching on the history of these features/attributes as part of our discussion

<oedipus> proposed requirements for verbose descriptor mechanisms: http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs

<judy> http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs#Requirements

can we focus on link that GJR added re: requirements

one question is: how much consensus has this page had in any of the TF meetings?

GJR: this was a direct reaction to the chairs announcement to remove @longdesc

collect requirements in an agnostic manner

purposefully written to not be bound to a specific solution

JS: re- process. this was voted out by the PFWG as a recommendation

JB: can we look at this for a few minutes

<oedipus> requirement 1: A programmatic mechanism to reference a specific set of structured content, either internal or external to the document containing the described image.

one of the things that stands out to me is undre progrmaitically determinable

seems to be leaving out the specific technologies

<oedipus> http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs#Programmatically_Determinable

the requirement for cross UA reqs does not stand out

JB: are the other things that may be missing

<oedipus> definition of programmatically determinable: A long description needs to be programmatically determinable. This relates to the information in web content. If technologies that are accessibility supported are used properly, then assistive technologies and user agents can access the information in the content (i.e., programmatically determine the information in the content) and present it to...

<oedipus> ...the user. For instance longdesc as an attribute should be used as a hook by user agents and asssistive technologies in order to notify the user that a long description exists, so even if longdesc is applied to an image that also serves as a link, it is programmatically determinable to separate the activation of the longdesc for exposure from the UA's universal link activation action...

<oedipus> ...(which is usually activated with the ENTER key, the SpaceBar, or by mouse click), so that the linked image retains the expected behavior in response to user interaction while a discrete mechanism is used to retrieve the long description. HTML4 puts it this way,"Since an IMG element may be within the content of an A element, the user agent's mechanism in the user interface for accessing...

<oedipus> ...the 'longdesc' resource of the former must be different than the mechanism for accessing the href resource of the latter."

JS: on the progrmatically determinable - if there is no means to do so, it is always there as text

<richardschwerdtfe> ack

<oedipus> GJR: programmatically determinable important to specify that there must be a means to separate the activation of the longdesc for an image functioning as a link without automatically causing link to be exposed using...

JB: are people on the call familiar with this document

is this the right group to be catching this doc in the TF?

JS: likely yes. PF felt it could likely use some wordsmithing, but get it out for discussion

soon rather than later

<judy> ACTION: gregory add status to verbose descriptor requirements [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/04/18-text-minutes.html#action01]

<oedipus> ...UA's universal link activation action/

JB: from the history, seems that mostly GJR and laura did the bulk of authoring

<judy> http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs#Requirements

the specific sets of requirements - there are 8 of them

<oedipus> http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs#Requirements

reviewing the 8 reqs seeking consensus

GJR, one idea is to put up another document with these 8 as an ordered list, with more prose

JB: checking around the call to see if there is consensus on these points

LH: still reading up on the background, not comfortable to comment

MR: actually also contributed to the initial document that Laura started. Happy with this document however

JB: looking at the standing requirements - could everyone take an action to revisit these 8 reqs and see if we can on next call address any lack of consensus?

does this include not breaking forward/backward compat

<oedipus> http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs#Satisfying_These_Requirements_for_HTML5

GJR: concern to not muddy the issue - this is mentioned in the how to satisfy

JB: believes that not breaking backward compat is fundemental

if the decisions of the WG were being reviewed, and if the review needed a basic set of reqs, shouldn't backward compat be there?

JS: backward compat should be a higher level concept

JB: if we were talking about new reqs (i.e alt-poster) then some cases there is substancial amount of legacy content

<oedipus> advantages and disadvantages of solutions for verbose description requirements contained in detail in http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs#Satisfying_These_Requirements_for_HTML5

JS: the absence of a means to properly identify the image violates a fundemental req

JB: can we look at the requirments section of the document with a fresh look in light of 3 rejected features

any need for fine tuning?

if so, can we stablize language by next call?

Judy would also ask others not on this call as well

RS: the question I have is: do we want to say "reinstate longdesc" or do we want to say we want a deprecation mechanism?

JB: so for example, should not breaking backward compat be a requirment?

look at reqs, rather than implementation

useful to have a high-level reqs document

for review

RS: being pragmatic - the need exists whether we use longdesc or other

if they are going to remove it, industry needs time to adapt

if we completely remove longdesc it is not attainable

JB: this is something that we can discuss more

may align with other practical feedback (weak objections, etc.)

no clear evidence of evolving support

RS: can cite gov legislation that if they remove something, we will have a mjaor problem

JB: in preparing for next meeting - any objections to reviewing the requirements section - goal of consensus on tha section only

<Zakim> oedipus, you wanted to suggest that subgroup email to public-html-a11y use the subject line [text] and to ask if it would it help to add requirement 8/9? backwards-compatibility: A

GJR: when sending emails use [text]

would it help to add another req for support of backward compat

JB: surprised that it was not already there

will be looking at the 3 rejection decisions, for patterns

to understand how the chairs are informing on these issues

ie: external, and the rejection of regulatory issues

most of the other request for additional info seems complete


<inserted> scribenick: oedipus

JF: on poster issue rejected because not "spec-ready" text -- told them that was concentrating on need/requirement -- may need to tighten up language

<JF> JB: next meeting - let's look at the requirements, and providing additional clarification

JB: scribe volunteers for next few weeks?
... can RS scribe next week?

RS: can do in 2 weeks time

GJR: will scribe next week

<JF> bye all

Summary of Action Items

[NEW] ACTION: gregory add status to verbose descriptor requirements [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/04/18-text-minutes.html#action01]
[End of minutes]

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$Date: 2011/04/18 17:06:49 $

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FAILED: i/MK: moved my actions to 25th/scribenick: oedipus
FAILED: i/action-762?/scribenick: mattking
Succeeded: s/=1/+1/
Succeeded: s/Authoring and Best Practices documents/Authoring and Best Practices documents on how to design so that ARIA info is communicated to those not using an assistive technology/
Succeeded: s/I like that ARIA is mapping/JS: I like that ARIA is mapping/
Succeeded: s/programmatically determinable important to specify that there must be a means to separate the activation of the longdesc for exposure from the UA's universal link activation action/programmatically determinable important to specify that there must be a means to separate the activation of the longdesc for an image functioning as a link without automatically causing link to be exposed using.../
Succeeded: s/who/how/
Succeeded: i/JF: one thing important is to look at what has already started to happen/scribenick: oedipus
Succeeded: i/RS: the thing I had the biggest issue with/scribenick: JF
Succeeded: i/JF: on poster issue rejected/scribenick: oedipus
Found Scribe: jf
Inferring ScribeNick: JF
Found ScribeNick: oedipus
Found ScribeNick: JF
Found ScribeNick: oedipus
ScribeNicks: JF, oedipus
Default Present: John_Foliot, Judy, mranon, Steve_Faulkner, Gregory_Rosmaita, Rich, Janina_Sajka, +44.203.239.aaaa, LynnH
Present: Gregory_Rosmaita Janina_Sajka John_Foliot Judy LynnH Rich Steve_Faulkner mranon
Regrets: Laura_Carlson
Agenda: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2011Apr/0144.html
Got date from IRC log name: 18 Apr 2011
Guessing minutes URL: http://www.w3.org/2011/04/18-text-minutes.html
People with action items: add gregory status

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