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Re: Moving longdesc forward: Recap, updates, consensus

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Thu, 05 May 2011 17:37:17 -0400
Message-ID: <4DC3188D.1030600@intertwingly.net>
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
CC: 'Paul Cotton' <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith (mike@w3.org)" <mike@w3.org>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
It is my hopes that this input is received in the spirit it is intended, 
namely "it is much better to hear about this now than when it is too 
late to make corrections".

On 05/05/2011 04:46 PM, John Foliot wrote:
>
> Use Cases:
>   - An image's content is visually apparent and typically redundant to a
> sighted person, and/or
>   - It is unacceptable to a marketing department or web author to use another
> technique due to aesthetic considerations. Many artists, designers, and
> marketers do not want their visual designs changed/ruined with visible link
> text. (Longdesc is natively free from a visual encumbrance.), and/or
>   - The image also serves as a link. With longdesc it is programmatically
> possible to separate the activation of the longdesc for exposure from the
> UA's universal link activation action (which is usually activated with the
> ENTER key, the SpaceBar, or by mouse click), so that the linked image
> retains the expected behavior in response to user interaction while a
> discrete mechanism is used to retrieve the long description. , and/or
> - The description is external to the document.

I offer for comparison, the use cases that were previously presented:

http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/index.php?title=LongdescRetention&oldid=5725#Use_Cases

And will cite the original decision[1]

> A number of use cases for semantically rich, structured descriptions
> of images were provided, however those use cases are abstract and don't
> directly and specifically require the support of a longdesc attribute.
> Many objected to inclusion of features in the language that have proven
> to be problematic and don't support any known use cases. This objection
> was found to be strong.

What I quoted above in the top of my note is four use cases.  The first 
and the fourth are abstract and don't specifically require longdesc in 
any obvious way.  The second and third mention that longdesc is one 
possible solution.

I haven't checked with my co-chairs, but my initial reaction is that if 
this had been the change proposal that had been submitted with the 
reopen request, the request to reopen would not have been granted.

I would also encourage everyone to back up assertions of use cases with 
evidence.  What would be ideal is specific first hand statements from 
people who actually use or implement the function in question; such 
statements are treated as much stronger than general statements made on 
behalf of others.

A number of such statements were present in the use cases that were 
submitted in the request to reopen.[2]

- Sam Ruby

[1] 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Aug/att-0112/issue-30-decision.html
[2] 
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc#New_Formal_Use_Cases_Requiring_longdesc
Received on Thursday, 5 May 2011 21:37:44 GMT

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