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Re: the market hasn't spoken - it hasn't bothered to listened [was Re: fear of "invisible metadata"]

From: Denis Boudreau (WebConforme) <dboudreau@webconforme.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 10:21:10 -0400
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Doug Schepers <doug.schepers@vectoreal.com>, Monika Trebo <mtrebo@stanford.edu>, "Gregory J.Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-id: <22D18759-879D-4CDB-AD4B-C9CB1F188677@webconforme.com>

Morning,

> On Jun 25, 2007, at 11:40 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

>> Out of the suggestions so far, I like <a rel="longdesc"> the best.  
>> It would do something reasonable in existing UAs, could be applied  
>> to more than just images (videos or tables might merit a long  
>> description for instance) and would be accessed even in normal UAs  
>> without the use of accessibility tools, so would be more likely to  
>> be maintained. Arguably even today it is a better option than the  
>> img longdesc attribute.

I could agree also. As long as we're improving the concept and we're  
not putting unnecessary pressure on user agents- and assistive  
technology vendors to reinvent something that was already working, I  
think dropping @longdesc could be considered. What we need to  
remember though is not to fall back into the same trap we just got  
out of with screen readers: it took a while for Jaws to implement the  
attribute properly. Now that it has, we're considering switching on  
to something else, whatever it may be. If it's for the sake of  
improvement, fine. Perfectly understandable.

We should not acknowledge more importance to a screen reader than to  
any other tool (browser x, user agent y, etc.). It is not our problem  
it took them so long to implement @longdesc, but it's our  
responsability to take their efforts into consideration and not  
simply pull the rug under their feet - after all, it's not their best  
interest we should be thinking about, but those of the users they  
represent.

As long as we're thiking of these users best interests and not what's  
easiest for browser vendors and authors, then i have no beef with  
dropping longdesc.

--
Denis Boudreau,
Directeur

WebConforme / AccessibilitéWeb
1751 rue Richardson, bureau 3.501
Montréal (Qc), Canada  H3K 1G6

Téléphone : +1 514.448.2650
Télécopieur : +1 514.667.2216
dboudreau@webconforme.com
http://www.webconforme.com/
Received on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 14:21:48 GMT

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