ISSUE-334: Inconsistency between spec and implementation guide

Precedence of aria-label and aria-labelledby

Inconsistency between spec and implementation guide

ARIA 1.0
Raised by:
Joseph Scheuhammer
Opened on:
The text equivalent algorithm gives rules for how to use aria-label and aria-labelledby properties. The spec's [1] rule 2A states that aria-labelledby is preferred. The implementation guide [2] rules 2C and 2D state that aria-label is preferred. Which should be preferred?

- FF 3.5 prefers aria-label= [3]
- the bug noted in [3] also states that aria-label is preferred when the text equivalent will not be shown, but aria-labelledby is preferred when it will be shown.
- Recent discussion thread on wai-xtech regarding both being present [4]

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Related notes:

A couple of other notes:

1. There is an implied principled reason (heuristic?) for choosing between label and labelledby. If the text for the label is already present as content in the document, use labelledby. If there is a need to not the text as content, then use label.

2. There is a related issue, 319 [1], about the presence of both aria-label and aria-labelledby.


Joseph Scheuhammer, 2 Jul 2009, 14:25:25

When Action 548 and 549 are completed this issue is resolved.

Richard Schwerdtfeger, 30 Nov 2009, 15:57:17

The UAIG has now been rolled back to use the algorithm in the February draft. Some of the original errors have been corrected.

The UAIG now agrees with the spec that aria-label should be given precedence. David is reviewing it to ensure that the algorithm per the spec to ensure that everything else is in agreement.

Andi Snow-Weaver, 2 Dec 2009, 16:55:28

Closed Jan. 4, 2010. December 2009 drafts reflected consistency.

Richard Schwerdtfeger, 4 Jan 2010, 15:39:55

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