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Re: rationale for preserving longdesc in HTMLx [Re: dropping longdesc attribute]

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 11:18:37 +0100
Message-ID: <4684DC7D.8040309@cfit.ie>
To: Bill Mason <w3c@accessibleinter.net>
Cc: public-html@w3.org

Bill Mason wrote:
> ...this is completely irrelevant LONGDESC, unless the site's audience is
> readers interested in the history and evolution of flags. 

I think its fair to say that this audience would have had a fondness for
history.

> Given that LONGDESC is for:
> 
> * "...a long description of the image. This description should
> supplement the short description provided using the alt attribute." [1]
> * "...complex content (e.g., a chart) where the "alt" text does not
> provide a complete text equivalent...." [2]
> * "[providing] information in a file designated by the longdesc
> attribute when a short text alternative does not adequately convey the
> function or information provided in the image." [3]
> 
> The history of the flag has nothing to do with its function/purpose on
> the page as an HTML element, does not fulfill a need not being handled
> by the short description, and arguably the image shouldn't even be on
> the page as an HTML element. 

The point is that the LONGDESC should provide a mechanism for far more
detailed information than @alt. @alt is supposed to be short some say up
to 50 characters some 100 [1] [2], there is no ceiling AFAIK but the
consensus is certainly that it should be short, so LONGDESC is to
provide the user with a longer more detailed description. You may
disagree with how the example was constructed to illustrate this point
but surely the reasoning is fairly sound?

Josh

http://www.joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter06.html
http://www.webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread.php?thread=2496
Received on Friday, 29 June 2007 10:18:55 GMT

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