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Issue 30 - longdesc

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 14:48:18 -0800 (PST)
To: "'HTML Accessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Cc: "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Paul Cotton'" <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>, "'Smith, Michael\(tm\)'" <mike@w3.org>, "'Philippe Le Hegaret'" <plh@w3.org>
Message-ID: <006101cbadf3$ce6f9b30$6b4ed190$@edu>
Per our conference call of January 6th, I have been asked to write to
write this up.  


In the Chair's Decision document regarding @longdesc, they stated:

"Revisiting this Issue

This issue can be reopened if new information come up. Examples of
possible relevant new information include:

*	use cases that specifically require longdesc,
*	evidence that correct usage is growing rapidly and that that
growth is expected to continue, or
*	widespread interoperable implementation."


It is apparent that both PF and numerous members of this Task Force wish
to see the @longdesc decision revisited. I personally have asked on
numerous occasions for clarification on these points, and specifically the
metrics and measurements that will apply when reconsideration is
undertaken by the Chairs. My questions are:


1)      "use cases that specifically require longdesc" - how many use
cases are required? 1 or more? 5 or more? 20 or more? Laura Carlson has
been documenting numerous cases where @longdesc is being used today - do
these in-the-wild examples constitute use cases in the broader sense (in
that the author(s) have chosen to use @longdesc as they believe it to be

Clarification on how many use-cases will make a compelling case to the
chairs is again requested.

2)      "evidence that correct usage is growing rapidly and that that
growth is expected to continue" - how is "rapidly" defined here? What is
considered "growth"? Increase of usage by authors? Emergence of author
support in authoring tools? Emergence of rendering support - such as
plug-ins or native support in CMSes? How will the 'expectation' of
continued growth be assessed? 

Clarification on how both "rapid" and "growth" are to be measured is again
requested, so that we can be sure to meet (or document) these tests of

3)      "widespread interoperable implementation" - How is "widespread"
measured? Interoperable implementations where? Since @longdesc is written
to the DOM in all browsers today as a DOM node, it surely is widespread
(?). Since users of AT that support @longdesc (the majority of screen
readers today) can thus use their AT tools with the browser of their
choice to 'extract' and interact with the @longdesc value already, does
this meet the criteria for "widespread interoperable implementation"? If
not, why not? And what, instead, do the Chairs expect to see to meet this

Clarification of what "widespread interoperable implementation" means to
the Chairs is again requested. 
(I might suggest that if, as is the case with most W3C requirements, the
number is 2 independent implementations, then we have already met that
requirement, as more than two screen readers today expose @longdesc to
their users, and those AT tools can be used with at least two commercial
browsers in the marketplace. Do the Chairs concur or disagree?)


At this time, I would like to request that the Accessibility Task Force
look at these questions. 

.         Do we collectively understand the requirements as given to us by
the Chairs? 

.         Do we believe collectively that more clarification and
measurement metrics are required so that we can succeed in meeting the
Chairs requirements?  

It has been noted already that we will likely only get one more "kick at
the can" here, thus ensuring we have met all the requirements requested of
us fully is an important goal to meet: it would be unconscionable to miss
out again due to vaguely defined requirements not being met fully.


If collectively we believe - as I currently do - that accurate definitions
are required, then I would like to ask the Task Force to formally &
collectively make a Request for Clarification to the Chairs. If none is
forth-coming then, as Janina noted on the call, we can document this fact
as part of any TF/PF Formal Objection down the road. If however the Chairs
do respond, then we will know *specifically* what is required to Revisit
this Issue, and we can work to ensure we meet those requirements.

I would like to request that we add this to next week's Call Agenda for
further discussion (unless we resolve this via the list).






John  Foliot

Program Manager

Stanford Online Accessibility Program


Stanford University

Tel: 650-862-4603



Co-chair - W3C HTML5 Accessibility Task Force (Media)




Received on Thursday, 6 January 2011 22:49:23 UTC

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