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Re: what must be done to expose longdesc? [was Re: fear of "invisible metadata"]

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 19:34:33 +1000
To: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Maurice Carey <maurice@thymeonline.com>, HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070629093433.GA2236@jdc.local>

On Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 10:12:54AM +0100, Joshue O Connor wrote:
> Another possibility is to multipurpose @alt so it also doubles up as a
> LONGDESC. So you have one attribute that you can use for both purposes
> as required?

This is an interesting idea. I suppose TITLE could still be used to provide a
short label for the image, independently of the longer description referred to
by ALT, in cases where both a short label and a full description are

The main problem with this proposal is that in processing the value of ALT,
the user agent would have to determine whether it is a URI, then retrieve the
associated resource if so, otherwise render the text of the attribute value.
This would also leave the value of ALT syntactically unconstrained, whereas
with a LONGDESC attribute, the syntax can be checked to ensure that it is a

Backward-compatibility with ua's that always render ALT would also serve as an
argument against this proposal, though, in my view, not necessarily a fatal
Received on Friday, 29 June 2007 09:35:00 UTC

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