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[Bug 13461] Commentary on Issue #30 (longdesc) from the Association of American Publishers

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2011 17:26:50 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1QnwGQ-0008L3-06@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13461

Matthew Turvey <mcturvey@gmail.com> changed:

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--- Comment #8 from Matthew Turvey <mcturvey@gmail.com> 2011-08-01 17:26:49 UTC ---
These requirements appear to be better met by using a normal link, with a
programmatically determinable association where required (eg a rel attribute <a
href="ld.html" rel="longdesc"><img></a>). As I understand it James Craig from
PFWG has previously suggested using normal links to Suzanne, is there some
other usage scenario for publishers that specifically requires the longdesc
attribute? Can you describe it?

https://twitter.com/#!/cookiecrook/status/22096374710

>  The longdesc attribute works with assistive technology today.

With *some* AT today. longdesc is unsupported in popular SRs e.g. VoiceOver,
Orca and NVDA, as well as some other AT e.g. screen magnifiers, and is also
unavailable to IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari users by default. Support also
seems to be poor in the DTB sector: 

http://diagramcenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24&Itemid=28

Using a normal link has the benefit that it works for everyone now, does not
require software upgrades or user retraining, and W3C-WAI are not planning to
obsolete it. See also RNIB and WebAIM advice:

http://webaim.org/techniques/images/longdesc
[Word .doc]
http://www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/Documents/Background%20and%20guidance%20-%20RNIB%20Surf%20Right%20web%20accessibility%20v1%200.doc

> We are using longdesc increasingly in our products.

Can you give us some examples? 

Are there any scenarios where using a normal link on the image, with
rel="longdesc" if required, does not provide an immediate, significant
improvement in accessibility and usability, while still meeting all the
requirements you listed?

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