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Re: Call for Consensus on resolutions to Objections to Publish an FPWD for long textual descriptions on images - due Friday 20th December, 23:59 EST

From: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 09:25:43 -0800
Message-id: <3E2ADC9E-230F-4FC6-AE1E-CD70E8758319@apple.com>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Matthew Turvey <mcturvey@gmail.com>
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Thanks for clarifying Steve. I won’t speak for Matthew, but that’s a good summary of my comments on the longdesc call-for-consensus thread.

James


On Jan 18, 2013, at 2:13 AM, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> 
> James raised a few issues with the text below, which i responded to by
> email[1], but we (the chairs) thought it best to send a clarification
> mail:
> 
> James (and Matthew Turvey's) view is that any long description content
> should be provided in a feature other than
> @longdesc.
> 
> James (and Matthew Turvey) requested that @longdesc be made 'obsolete
> but conforming' in HTML5 rather than 'obsolete'
> 
> The difference being that a valdiator should display a warning for
> 'obsolete but conforming' features rather than an error.
> 
> 
> As stated in [1] I encourage anybody to write an alternative extension
> specification for an image description feature or methods to provide
> image descriptions using existing HTML features, which may include a
> conformance requirement pertaining to the @longdesc attribute.
> 
> 
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2013Jan/0096.html
> 
> regards
> 
> SteveF (on behalf of the taskforce chairs)
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 13 December 2012 22:54, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> 
>> the taskforce chairs have gone through the feedback from the CFC [4] to pass
>> the image description spec along for publication. We are now proposing a
>> dispositive summary of comments received on our CfC [4] for Objections to
>> Publish an FPWD for long textual descriptions on images  and are asking the
>> group to consider the following resolutions to the issues raised.
>> 
>> Silence will be considered assent, but positive responses by [Friday 20th
>> December, 23:59 EST] are preferred:
>> 
>> 
>> Technical issues:
>> 
>> Aside from the expressions of support, the accessibility taskforce has
>> received one clear objection and several questions about the longdesc
>> proposal. A new draft has been published addressing the bugs raised[1]. The
>> following resolutions are proposed for points raised other than those
>> considered to be purely issues of process:
>> 
>> David McDonald stated that an example of an image with null alt text and a
>> longdesc would contradict a WCAG technique. A bug was raised 20048 [1] to
>> track this. In the latest draft, the example has been removed.
>> 
>> a.  Resolution - Resolved fixed: Remove the example.
>> 
>> 2.  David also stated that longdesc URLs which were internal references to
>> the page were a new feature and didn't work. Subsequent replies showed that
>> they were part of the HTML 4 definition, that they had been implemented that
>> way in pwWebspeak, Opera, iCab, the Firefox extension, and there were
>> examples in the wild. However, current implementations using IE/JAWS, and
>> some others do not handle this effectively.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed Resolution – Resolved Invalid: Keep the HTML 4 definition.
>> State that implementations which do not recognise internal page references
>> are incorrect.
>> 
>> 3.  James Craig and Matt Turvey both stated that an image description should
>> be available to all users. Nobody disagreed, and several people agreed. A
>> bug was raised[3] to track this. The proposed specification already requires
>> user agents to enable users, as well as assistive technologies, to access
>> the functionality. The Opera, iCab and Firefox implementations all do this.
>> The NVDA implementation was held back with the explicitly stated hope that
>> the functionality would be made available to all users through the browser.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed Resolution – Resolved Fixed: The recent update to the
>> specification addresses this by more clearly stating that the requirements
>> apply to all users, not just assistive technology.
>> 
>> b.   If this is still unclear in the specification, please provide specific
>> editorial suggestions to improve it.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 4.  Matt Turvey suggested that the use case of making it straightforward to
>> teach the use of description mechanism be removed, because it could be
>> interepreted in a way that casts a bad light.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed Resolution- Resolved Won’t Fix: The use case has value and
>> should be retained.
>> 
>> b.  If there are ways to reduce the risk of wilful misinterpretation, please
>> provide specific editorial suggestions to improve it.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 5.  Matt Turvey stated that poor implementation of longdesc means that it is
>> more harmful than beneficial. Various responses have been made that while
>> poor implementation is a known issue, the harm it may do is outweighed by
>> the benefit of good implementations that exist.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed Resolution: Resolved Won’t Fix: This is a point in contention,
>> and the case that longdesc is harmful has clearly not been proven.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 6.  Matt Turvey suggested that the specification could be changed to state
>> that it should only be used in cases where the audience was controlled.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed Resolution- Resolved Won’t Fix: This restriction is
>> unnecessary, and counter-productive. It should not be added to the
>> specification.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 7.  Matt Turvey, James Craig, and Silvia Pfeiffer suggested the
>> specification could be changed to state that longdesc is obsolete.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed Resolution- Resolved Won’t Fix: In a specification of a single
>> feature, this makes no sense. The question might be relevant to the HTML
>> Working Group if it wants to consider incorporating this extension directly
>> into the HTML specification.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Issues of process:
>> 
>> The following resolutions are proposed for points raised [5] considered to
>> be purely issues of process:
>> 
>> 1.  Matt Turvey suggested we haven't addressed the objections from the
>> original HTMLWG poll and decision.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed resolution - Invalid: The decision was overturned. The question
>> of whether a draft makes a reasonable FPWD does not depend on it meeting all
>> technical objections, and therefore it is reasonable to file a bug for any
>> given technical issue (as has been done in some cases already) and proceed
>> with publishing.
>> 
>> 2.  Matt Turvey suggested None of the use cases (except Teaching Accessible
>> Development)appear to specifically require longdesc.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed resolution - Invalid: Use cases do not require a specific
>> solution. They lead to requirements,  and we standardise something that
>> meets those requirements.
>> 
>> 3.  Matt Turvey suggested that the use cases can already be better addressed
>> with existing, widely supported techniques.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed resolution - Invalid: It is clearly possible to meet any given
>> use case's requirements, and even a subset of all of them, with many kinds
>> of solutions. There is no reason an alternative cannot be proposed as an
>> extension specification. We are not discussing other proposals, but whether
>> it is reasonable to publish a draft of one proposed solution.
>> 
>> 4.  Matt Turvey suggested that if there is a use case that specifically
>> requires programmatic determinability of a long description link as distinct
>> from a normal link, but is not satisfied by using rel=longdesc, this should
>> be included.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed resolution - Invalid: Use cases should identify problems that
>> need solutions, not be  reverse-engineered from solutions (nor from
>> hypothetical proposals for solutions). There is no reason an alternative
>> cannot be proposed as an extension specification. We are not discussing
>> other proposals, but whether it is reasonable to publish a draft of one
>> proposed solution.
>> 
>> 5.  Matt Turvey suggested that as Geoff Freed is currently compiling
>> evidence for the Task Force that some educational publishers might be about
>> to start using longdesc. It may be worth waiting until we have that evidence
>> available.
>> 
>> a.  Proposed resolution - Invalid: If this were the only evidence, or
>> critical for a decision on whether to proceed to Recommendation, it might be
>> worth waiting for it. Since this CfC is about developing the specification
>> as a Working Draft, it is unnecessary to wait for all possible knowledge
>> before moving forward.
>> 
>> 6.  Matt Turvey suggested that as Sam Ruby previously suggested a course
>> correction may be required on longdesc, citing the absence of correct
>> longdesc usage in Steve Faulkner's survey of the top 10,000 website home
>> pages. Is this spec the kind of course correction that will convince HTMLWG
>> members to support longdesc?
>> 
>> a.  Proposed resolution - Invalid: It's difficult to guess if Sam is right.
>> What Sam Ruby suggested is not a process requirement, and as understood he
>> didn't even suggest this was the chairs' opinion, just an idea of his own.
>> Therefore not publishing a draft of the spec seems unlikely to help
>> determine the answer to Matts question.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> References:
>> 
>> [1]
>> http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-proposals/raw-file/1f251fcbe363/longdesc1/longdesc.html
>> 
>> [2] https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=20048
>> 
>> [3] https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=20117
>> 
>> [4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2012Nov/0091.html
>> 
>> [5]  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2012Nov/0152.html
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On behalf of the task force chairs:
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Janina, Steve and Chaals
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> 
>> with regards
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Steve Faulkner
>> 
>> Technical Director - TPG
> 
Received on Friday, 18 January 2013 17:26:19 UTC

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