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Re: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 14:34:23 -0700
Cc: 'Sam Ruby' <rubys@intertwingly.net>, public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-id: <A5D84D2B-6F9A-4908-97D0-F0A9E5ED5A89@apple.com>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>

On Sep 18, 2012, at 2:16 PM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> 
>> 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.
> 
> I encourage you or others to provide specific proof of that assertion. 
> 
> On one hand, we have professional content producers that are creating
> @longdesc content today (Pearson Publishing and the  Government of Canada to
> name 2), who, if nothing else, are probably quite good at document
> management practices. 
> (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2012Sep/0210.html)  
> 
> On the other hand, we have a 5-year old blog post from Mark Pilgrim
> (http://blog.whatwg.org/the-longdesc-lottery) that alludes to statistics
> that Ian Hickson accrued, but was unwilling to publicly share.
> 
> Do you have any other "proof" of this assertion? Have you or anyone else
> "surveyed" the corpus recently to see if there have been any changes to this
> assertion over the past 5 years? (Note: I have not, but given that serious
> content publishers are now using this attribute routinely in their work, I
> can only surmise it has improved significantly - but feel free to dispute
> that claim with proof to the contrary.)

I'm just mentioning the point of concern that was raised. I am not interested in debating its validity.

I will note that, if you want to persuade browser vendors to implement something, claiming that the evidence provided is not "proof" is unlikely to be a very compelling argument. Providing actual evidence to the contrary may be more compelling.

The rest of your message seems to be more about whether longdesc should be "retained" in the spec in the sense of a conformance requirement that has no engineering impact. I don't have any substantive comments on that question. But I do note that it seems to be back in the mode of "mandate something that browsers won't implement".

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 21:34:51 GMT

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