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Re: longdesc quality statistics

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 09:03:39 -0700
Cc: "public-html-a11y@w3.org" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-id: <38F504DD-3A28-40DC-9B3F-18747B85D815@apple.com>
To: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>

On Sep 21, 2012, at 7:03 , Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru> wrote:

> TL;DR: I believe the "longdesc lottery" conclusion that a lot of longdescs
> were hopelessly bad, and that longdesc is often terrible in top-X sites.
> It roughly matches my research (and my expectations). I expect serious
> careful research to show things getting better. I do not believe that data
> justifies the conclusion "so longdesc is broken and should be removed".


a) why would anyone now implement longdesc knowing that the descriptions that they'd expose to users were, for the vast majority, 'hopelesslt bad'?
b) why would any end user needing more information bother to look at the longdesc, knowing that the overwhelming majority of the time, they'd be wasting their time getting something hopelessly bad?

> And most developers are apparently not true believers,
> don't *test* the long descriptions they make.

Right, we've had long discussions on having features that are hidden from ordinary users -- and hence, from most web developers.

> I note 15 years ago when I began working seriously in accessibility, the
> alt attribute was something people generally thought was unreasonable,
> couldn't be done, was almost always missing, and when it was present it
> was almost always done so badly as to be a waste of time. I would
> characterise the situation now as about 10 times as good - maybe a
> majority of people accept it as a good idea, it is often present, and in
> many cases it isn't useless (although I honestly doubt that good use of
> alt has become the statistical norm, the almost 2 decades since it was
> introduced have seen significant improvement).

Is that perhaps because of ordinary browsers exposing it during hover, do you think?

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Friday, 21 September 2012 16:04:09 UTC

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