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Re: LONGDESC: some current problems and a proposed solution added to the wiki

From: scott lewis <sfl@scotfl.ca>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 10:32:37 -0600
Message-Id: <42DEB1F6-1D2A-42E0-9085-BA08179395D4@scotfl.ca>
Cc: HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>
To: Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>

On 1 Jul 2007, at 0650, Philip TAYLOR wrote:

> Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>
>> How realstic is it to expect people to provide alternate content  
>> for their Flash content?
>
> If we don't give the hooks so to do, totally unreasonable.
>
> If we give them the hooks, perfectly reasonable.

Adding the hooks for alternate content for <embed> in no way shape or  
form guarantees  any better adoption than that of image@alt  
image@longdesc and table@summary as they stand today. "If we build  
it, they will come" is not a particularly defensible design principle.


> If we give them the hooks, and they lose sales or
> end up in court because they don't use them,
> not only "reasonable" but the probability
> that they will provide alternate content for
> their Flash content is extremely high.

The one does not imply the other. Authors building inaccessible  
webpages may lose sales or find themselves in court regardless of  
whether we give them hooks or not.

Alternately, the "market forces" argument can be spun in the opposite  
direction: If we provide no accessibility mechanism in <embed>,  
authors will lose sales or suffer legal consequences if they use  
<embed>. Thus, authors will stop using it in favour of more  
accessible technologies. This will force the plug-in vendors to make  
their technologies more accessible in order to maintain marketshare.  
Thus, by not providing "the hooks" we, in fact, improve accessibility  
for everyone everywhere. QED.

I'm not seriously suggesting that. I am just trying to illustrate why  
adding an "Embed is Inaccessible" issue page to the wiki, and  
following the practical, empirical methodology favoured by the  
editors will tend to keep the discussion grounded and moving forward. :)


scott.
Received on Sunday, 1 July 2007 16:32:46 GMT

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