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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:

http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/constriants/ariadescribedby.html
http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/constriants/ariadescribedat.html

> 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.
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc/UseCases

We have new spec text to help them in the effort.
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc#Main_Spec_Changes:

In particular we wrote the text and provided with illustrations for
the rendering section a year and a half ago:
http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/ld-rendering2.html

> 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,
Laura
[1] Breaking Backwards Compatibility is an Intolerable Cost
http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/constriants/backward-compat.html
-- 
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 11:48:59 GMT

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