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Re: My case for the obsoletion of longdesc (Was: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update)

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 13:33:00 +0100
Message-ID: <5057187C.1020706@cfit.ie>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
CC: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <gregory.rosmaita@gmail.com>
Hi Laura,

>> I also like the idea of @longdesc being automatically read on focus (after
>> any other important link info was read etc) and then stopped on any other
>> keypress. Rather like the way that aria-describedby is currently
>> implemented. I think that is elegant.
>
> I would not agree that forcing a long description upon a user is elegant.

Ok. The word 'force' is a little strong but I take your point. I'm not 
being flip here (more as a personal aside) but please note that - as a 
sighted person I see many images that I may not want to - immediately, 
if @longdesc is a functional equivalent to a primarily visual medium - 
should the immediacy of the interaction not follow a similar model? As I 
said in my previous mail, and have said several times before, ideally a 
user defined keystroke or input that triggered the @longdesc/@a.n.other 
content would be my preferred option.

The interaction is mediated via the AT which can of course (and should) 
act as a bridge to facilitatate a particular user experience. How this 
is done should be handled by a combination of user defined preferences 
(verbosity?) and choice.

Anyway, really this is UA issue, right? Firstly, we need to have the 
mechanism that can do this defined/contained in the spec first - as I am 
sure you will agree. So apologies if I got ahead of myself in terms of 
engineering the interaction. It was purely for the purposes of illustration.

Am glad to hear that GJR is still contributing via the aethers.

Cheers

Josh
Received on Monday, 17 September 2012 12:33:33 GMT

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