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Re: Finding Real Use Cases for Longdesc

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 04:26:54 -0500
Message-Id: <181D2F9D-5D5A-461F-A232-521FB992036C@robburns.com>
Cc: W3C List <public-html@w3.org>
To: Andrew Sidwell <takkaria@gmail.com>

On Aug 23, 2007, at 3:53 AM, Andrew Sidwell wrote:

> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>> Note that I'm not looking at statistics, just trying to find examples
>> that show longdesc being used *legitimately* and *usefully*.  If  
>> anyone
>> finds any that are legitimate (either from this list or elsewhere),
>> please document them as use cases in the wiki.
> You said you weren't looking for statistics, but I might as well post
> this anyway, since it may be useufl.  I did a miniature study a couple
> of weeks ago on a list of 62 pages containing the longdesc  
> attribute on
> <img>, taken from
> http://canvex.lazyilluminati.com/survey/2007-07-17/analyse.cgi/ 
> pages/tagattr/img/longdesc

Thanks for looking through those.

> I found that of all of them, two were valid, and none were useful  
> -- one
> was for an accessibility checker logo, and longdesc appeared nowhere
> else on that page; the other was serving up plaintext files which  
> would
> have better fit into the alt text.

The alt attribute is typically reserved for shorter descriptions. If  
those pages had something brief and useful in the alt text and then a  
longer description in the longdesc referenced document, then that  
pretty much matches the prescribed practice (though semantically rich  
HTML would be nice too).

The difficulties authors have with using longdesc have long been  
talked about. The object[1] element would be a better element to use,  
but that has interoperability problems. The LongDescRetnention[2]  
page on the wiki has really been repurposed to deal with the problem  
statement of solving (including simplifying) authoring  alternate  
equivalent fallback content for still images.

Take care,

[1]: We have been checking the interoperability of the object element  
(and its ability to serve as a simple substitute for the img element)  
in the latest browser releases on he wiki <http://esw.w3.org/topic/ 
[2]: <http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/LongdescRetention>

> Study: <http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Longdesc_usage>
Received on Thursday, 23 August 2007 09:27:09 UTC

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