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Re: usefulness of longdesc & digitization of books & historical works [was Re: fear of "invisible metadata"]

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 22:25:37 +0200
Message-ID: <468024C1.7060204@cam.ac.uk>
To: Craig Francis <craig@synergycms.com>
CC: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org, joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie

Craig Francis wrote:
> On 24 Jun 2007, at 21:12, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>> when encountering a portrait of Lord Cornwallis, it isn't sufficient
>> to simply caption the image "Portrait of Lord Cornwallis, ca. 1774"
>> -- the student of the subject needs to know precisely how Lord 
>> Cornwallis is portrayed -- how old was he at the time of the
>> portrait?  what kind of hairstyle does he sport?  what type of
>> uniform?  what do the buttons on the uniform signify?  what is his
>> rank, based on the eppalettes?  what are the items that are included
>> in the portrait, particularly those held by, or within reach of, the
>> portrait's subject, for all such items have both symbolic and highly
>> specific meanings, all of which the painter assumed would be
>> understood by the viewer.
> Hi Gregory,
> I have known about the @longdesc for years, but have never actually 
> used it... but a description like that really shows how useful it can be.
> It could be argued that such a description should exist on the page 
> itself... but I am sure there are cases where this is not possible or 
> relevant... 

I am less sure about this, at least in the context of the example given. 
I can imagine no reason that information could not be included either as 
additional content on the page containing the image or as an external 
resource connected by a perfectly ordinary hyperlink. Why is this not 
the case?
Received on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 18:55:36 UTC

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