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Re: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 08:49:43 +1000
Message-ID: <CAHp8n2mQp+fQG9RCyoPTqQkANptcftpZxyDNDqkES6VaqQvhHw@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Cc: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 8:26 AM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:
> Joshue O Connor wrote:
>>
>> I think we need to step back further John. We need to work out what it
>> should be before we ask any vendor to implement a solution. They will
>> certainly support some form of long descriptor if it is present in the
>> spec.
>
> If that were only true Josh.  We've had a "solution" for this issue for over
> a decade in the previous Specification, and have not seen any implementation
> in browsers worth noting. Instead I sadly note that many engineers at the
> various browser vendors want to instead obsolete a solution they've never
> even tried to implement, and yet have not come forward with anything to
> replace it.

The thing is: if you read the HTML4 spec, there really is nothing
stated about how the UA is supposed to expose it.
http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/objects.html#h-13.2

Quote:
longdesc = uri [CT]
    This attribute specifies a link to a long description of the
image. This description should supplement the short description
provided using the alt attribute. When the image has an associated
image map, this attribute should provide information about the image
map's contents. This is particularly important for server-side image
maps. Since an IMG element may be within the content of an A element,
the user agent's mechanism in the user interface for accessing the
"longdesc" resource of the former must be different than the mechanism
for accessing the href resource of the latter.

This paragraph creates a problem without solving it. It states that
the UA should expose a longdesc link differently when on an img than
when on an a. But there is no hint as to how that can be done.

For a developer to come up with a solution to this is almost
impossible, when even accessibility tools haven't come up with a good
solution. They look at it, see the problem, weight up how important it
is in comparison to other work they need to do and move on. Can you
blame them?

If we re-introduce it into HTML5, we need to be quite clear about how
this has to be implemented. Otherwise we will fall into the same trap
again.

Regards,
Silvia.
Received on Monday, 17 September 2012 22:50:30 GMT

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