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Marking Up Accessible Comic Strips

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 16:10:33 +1000
Message-ID: <46D11959.9030409@lachy.id.au>
To: public-html <public-html@w3.org>

   I found some really good examples demonstrating the use case of 
marking up a comic strip and providing an alternative.  The first [1] is 
a tutorial explaining the technique using longdesc and the second [2] 
and third [3] are real comic strips that use the technique.

Another approach described by Joe Clark is to use an image map, with the 
alt text for each region provided by an <area> element [4].  However, I 
couldn't find any real world sites that use this technique.

However, there's currently an issue with the spec which would affect the 
use of the image map technique.  The spec currently states [5]:

> However, if the area element has no href attribute, then the area 
> represented by the element cannot be selected, and the alt attribute 
> must be omitted.

According to that requirement, using the image map would be 
non-conforming because the areas would not need to be hyperlinks and so 
they would need to use alt attributes without href attributes. 
Therefore, I think that's a mistake in the spec and that requirement 
should be removed.

[1] http://html.cita.uiuc.edu/text/comics.php
[2] http://www.webcredible.co.uk/webcreds/episode8.shtml
[3] http://www.dizabled.com/comics/stairs/
[4] http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter06.html#h2-4240
[5] http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#area

Lachlan Hunt
Received on Sunday, 26 August 2007 06:10:46 UTC

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