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Re: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2012 16:07:23 -0700
Message-id: <05B67D3F-00A1-448B-BB0A-F4B7BD47E192@apple.com>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>

On Sep 24, 2012, at 13:12 , John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> David Singer wrote:
>> 
>> What do non-sighted users do?  What happens in an aural browser?
> 
> These are indeed two good questions, but then you also introduce the
> additional user-requirements for sighted users. The third (and fourth)
> unasked but implied questions are: What do sighted users do? What happens in
> a GUI browser?
> 
>> 
>> Why doesn't the language simply state that "a long description of <this
>> image> is <over there>", for those that need the long description?
> 
> 
> <img src="images/chart1.png" 
>     alt="sales statistics for 2011" 
>     a_long_description_of_{this_image}="http://long_description.html">
> 
> Is that what you just asked for?

well, yes, but the documentation is missing :-(, like, don't give as a description something that itself needs description (like another image, or a table, etc.), and so on.  (I also personally abhor presentable text in attributes (like alt here) but we're probably stuck with it for img).

even better, we don't need to talk about HOW the description is made available, merely that it should be (for everyone).  And if web designers can see that theirs is missing, or inadequate, or plain wrong, they may be better motivated to fix it. :-) Yay!


> 
> I will additionally point to the final bit of your question: "... for those
> that need the long description..." which I think accurately reflects that
> not all users (sighted or non-sighted) will always need or want a longer
> textual description.

More to the point, I don't think the spec. should try to predict who those needing it are, either.

> All which adequately serve to suggest that the GUI browsers have a role to
> play in exposing the longer textual description to the users noted above.  

Yes, I think we're presenting a rich body of information in a site, in multiple modalities, and forms, and which aspects, forms and modalities rock your boat, we do not attempt to predict or suggest or (specially) enforce.  Yes, you may have ketchup with your ice cream. (Sorry about that, um, image).

> 
> I honestly don't think changing the name from one thing to another is
> solving the actual problem (outside of an attempt to address the "pollution"
> problem): at its core we require some programmatic linking mechanism (an
> attribute) that points to an additional resource, that resource content not
> being restrained by inclusion in the same document as the image itself. We
> additionally require a mechanism that allows all users, regardless of
> modality, to gain access to that longer description on demand.
> (Additionally, that longer textual description content must support HTML
> rich marked-up content)

Yes (though getting something that is better documented and implemented and therefore, we hope, un-polluted or less polluted, and more widely implemented, is a good potential outcome, and could be a positive feedback loop).

> David, have I misunderstood anything you have stated here? If yes, please
> clarify.

Yes, I think so.  It even strikes me that Someone With Skills could even make an iframe that looks like it lives on the back of the image, with the description contents, using JS, CSS, HTML, etc. :-), as an experiment.

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Monday, 24 September 2012 23:10:20 GMT

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