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Re: longdesc quality statistics

From: Leif H Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 19:52:20 +0200
To: chaals@yandex-team.ru
Cc: singer@apple.com, public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-ID: <6579023523.1032724340@xn--mlform-iua.no>
In my little experience, screenreaders operate more slowly than the naked browser. Also, because it opens (typically) a new window (more slowly than in a naked browser),  I would listen very attentively if someone in the know say that the massive bad use make them ignore opening long descriptions. Leif  

------- Opprinnelig melding -------
> Fra: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
> Til: singer@apple.com
> Cc: public-html-a11y@w3.org
> Sendt: 21/9/'12,  18:53
> 
> On Fri, 21 Sep 2012 18:03:39 +0200, David Singer <singer@apple.com> wrote:
> 
>>
>> 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".
>>
>> But…
>>
>> a) why would anyone now implement longdesc knowing that the descriptions  
>> that they'd expose to users were, for the vast majority, 'hopelessly  
>> bad'?
> 
> 1. It's really quite easy.
> 2. I believe the situation was *worse* when JAWS implemented it, and I  
> presume their rationale was user demand. They're not noted for randomly  
> implementing things on a proactive basis...
> 
>> 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?
> 
> Because the price of discovering something pointless and skipping it is  
> low, and the value of finding something really helpful is extremely high.  
> It's the same rationale I use for email - despite a lot of spam, the  
> content makes it worth having email services.
> 
>>> 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.
> 
> These are separate issues.
> 
> The hidden metadata problem is real, and increases the chance that a given  
> longdesc (or alt, for that matter) will not be very good.
> 
> But not having an implementation to test with significantly increases this  
> problem, because it makes it difficult to develop a workflow that  
> incorporates a useful test - something that many professional developers  
> can do that resolves the "I didn't see the problem in casual observation  
> so I won't worry about it" problem which makes hidden metadata unreliable.
> 
> I *believe* (without careful research) that developers' use of iCab is  
> roughly in line with general usage, and testing with Opera is a relatively  
> small multiple if general usage, while testing with screen readers is a  
> fraction of normal usage.
> 
>>> 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?
> 
> Partially. When that used to happen it was certainly a cause of all sorts  
> of rubbish being put into alt. But the improvements were not only related  
> to getting rid of that behaviour, but also a general improvement in  
> developers' understanding and knowledge.
> 
> cheers
> 
> Chaals
> 
Received on Friday, 21 September 2012 17:53:18 GMT

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