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Re: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 06:48:32 -0500
Message-ID: <CAOavpvdvRjZM82b0xs1aAJQ0MHdskEPRBA1GRpJJXzi+L3N4cg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>, public-html-a11y@w3.org
Hi Sam,

> At one time Richard participated in a discussion concerning deprecating
> longdesc when aria-describedby was introduced.[1]  I'll note that that was
> over 4 years ago.
> Later Richard and Steve worked on an unofficial aria-describedat
> document.[2]  That was earlier this year.
> Sadly, neither have gotten much traction to date.
> Perhaps neither are appropriate,

Agreed. Neither are viable:


> but that's not the point.
> I can't help but wonder if we would have been done by now if but a small
> fraction of the effort that was put into "instating longdesc" focused
> instead on developing a solution to the "long description" need that browser
> vendors are willing to implement.

I agree Sam, it can't be that difficult for browser vendors to
implement. Use cases have been documented.

We have new spec text to help them in the effort.

In particular we wrote the text and provided with illustrations for
the rendering section a year and a half ago:

> I'll go further, and say that the most optimistic estimates have HTML5 going
> to REC in 2014, and if we could find a way to produce a collective "we"
> instead of continuing to refer to a collective "you" that a comprehensive
> solution could be designed by the early next year and deployed and tested
> for interoperability by year end and make it in time for HTML5.

We already have two browsers that implement longdesc natively.
Building upon that without breaking backwards compatibility [1], is
the way forward. Starting from zero is nonsensical. It only reinvents
the wheel.

Best Regards,
[1] Breaking Backwards Compatibility is an Intolerable Cost
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 11:48:59 UTC

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