W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > August 2010

[Bug 10455] Mint a describedby attribute for the img element

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 23:20:42 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1OqDec-0004S3-CO@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10455





--- Comment #43 from John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>  2010-08-30 23:20:41 ---
(In reply to comment #39)
> 
> That's the common case for alt text today. I don't know what problem this
> solves. If there's alternate content that's not expressed in @alt, I believe it
> should still be bound within the element, not in an <a> wrapper. Anchors are an
> already well-defined semantic, and I don't like the idea of telling authors
> that you can either link an image or provide a long description simply in the
> name of expediency.

I have to agree with Matt here. The purpose of this bug is to define a
mechanism (an attribute) that allows us to link an image (any image) to a
longer description, while at the same time not crippling it in another way. 

Another very common use-case is a thumb-nail gallery, where activating the link
presents the sighted user with a larger version of the image. I would argue
that the thumb-nail images deserve the long-description, as for non-sighted
users they care less for the size of the image, than the content of the image.
Insisting that the only time the longer description is provided is on the
larger image is not 'right', and in the case of 'lightbox' javascripts in use
today, providing the longer description "in page" (when the image is not in a
page per-se, but in a layered' div) is contrary to the entire visual experience
being created, and graphic driven design considerations will oppose the text
and 'scrolling' that an in-page requirement imposes.

(In reply to comment #41)

> 
> But, no. Reading what Laura said [1], one has to come to the conclusion that it
> is about semantics - @longdesc is supposed to link to a description of some
> particular quality.

while semantics can play a role here, it is a *mechanism* to link longer
descriptions of images to those images that is being sought out. How do we
associate a longer description to an image that does not break other
functionality or 'aesthetic' considerations?

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