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

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 04:16:30 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1QtB4o-0004ix-Mm@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13461

--- Comment #13 from Suzanne Taylor <SuzanneTaylorLogin@gmail.com> 2011-08-16 04:16:30 UTC ---

> 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?

(note: I can't speak for AAP offhand.)

Is there a proposal for W3C to define how rel="longdesc" should function in
browsers/AT? I did not see this in the specification.

Other than preventing the image from being a link somewhere and having a long
description at the same time, as far I can personally tell, this provides the
data that is needed.

But, will the data be used by browsers to show where there are long
descriptions? Or, will users without screen readers have to click every image
to find out if there's a long description? (same issue longdesc has now.)

Similarly, will the data be used by AT? Or will users have to hear the generic
link announcement, such as "link image Starry Night" and wonder if the link is
to a page about the painting or to a description of the painting?

I'm sure rel="longdesc" could be refined through a specification of the
implementation details to work well for this. HTML 5 might even allow nested <a
href ...> tags if one is rel="longdesc", allowing an image to both be a link
and have a long description.

Personally, I'd favor improving longdesc--just seems logical to me. But, if the
user experience details are specified for rel="longdesc" solving the issues
mentioned above, that seems fine to me too.

I can't speak for AAP offhand. But, the commentary is more concerned that there
be a solution with a good user experience/developer experience and much less
concerned with what the exact code is.

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