W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > June 2007

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

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 08:21:28 -0500
Message-Id: <430A124F-1C96-43A6-BDE0-D5056339FCFF@robburns.com>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>

On Jun 30, 2007, at 7:57 AM, Anne van Kesteren wrote:

> On Sat, 30 Jun 2007 14:40:27 +0200, Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>  
> wrote:
>> I've seen a several dismissive remarks on adding a <picture>  
>> element in the HTML5 discussions. However, the need for a new  
>> embedded element with fallback content for still images is far  
>> more important than adding <video> and <audio>. I'm not saying I'm  
>> against those new elements, but the need for them is far less than  
>> for a new embedded content element with fallback for still images.
> What are you basing this statement on, exactly?

I'm not sure which statement you mean. That author's and users have a  
need for <picture> more than <video> and <audio>? Because authors are  
already using <object> to embed video and audio without much  
complaint. By using <object> for video and audio, these non-text  
media have a mechanism for decent fallback content. However, using  
<img> does not provide such a fallback content so there is a stronger  
need to introduce a new element for that than for the others.

> Also, introducing a new container for images has been tried before  
> and it didn't really work out so well although support for <object>  
> is improving.

Well, there were many complicating issues that made it difficult for  
authors to switch <img> over to <object>. First <object> doesn't  
really stick in an author's mind for still images the way <img> does  
(or the way something like <picture> would). Also, IE added  
complications that made it more difficult to embed still pictures  
with <object> (needing to add <param> or javascripting) than simply  
using <img>. My contention is that if we deprecated (i.e., omitted or  
dropped) <img> (and with it @longdesc) from HTML5 and added something  
like <picture>fallback</picture>, it would have a much stronger  
chance of success (presuming it was implemented in the most popular  
UAs without added complications) than <object> did. In five or ten  
years from now we could end up seeing all content created using  
<picture> with proper fallback content. All of the complicating  
issues of @longdesc would be gone then.

Take care,
Received on Saturday, 30 June 2007 13:21:42 UTC

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