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Re: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 10:03:58 -0700
Cc: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-id: <9DD47516-DA09-4F06-B192-2500D631CE46@apple.com>
To: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>

On Sep 18, 2012, at 4:41 AM, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com> wrote:

> A hand-waving mention of "revealing the attribute to the UA" and "user
> preferences, options etc." is exactly what I want to avoid. I would
> prefer we say something informative and non-normative such as:
> Long image descriptions should be made available to the user through a
> visual indicator. This can e.g. be through a link in the image's
> context menu which can appear on a right-click on the image or after
> pressing the image with your finger for an extended time. It could
> also be through an icon somewhere on the image, or listed "on the back
> of the image" e.g. if the UI allowed to "turn it around", or any other
> means that the UA deems appropriate.
> Would browser vendors resist such a paragraph and the implied
> implementation consequences?

Whether or not vendors would agree with such a paragraph in the spec, I'll leave that to vendor reps. But I think adding this text would not make it any more likely that vendors would implement a UI to access longdesc. Context menu is a long-known technique for longdesc support which has clearly not caught on in mainstream UAs. The "turn the image around" idea is handwavey to the point of uselessness.

In addition to issues with these specific suggestions, keep in mind that a previously raised concern with longdesc is that the corpus of available longdesc content in the wild appears to have very high level of bad content. While folks may disagree on the merits of this argument, it seems unlikely that a clever UI idea would change anyone's mind about the wisdom of exposing the existing longdesc corpus to users.

So while I appreciate the constructive engagement, it seems unlikely to be very persuasive to browser vendors. It does not seem to me that their past key concerns were based on lack of UI ideas.

Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 17:04:33 UTC

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