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Re: User Testing footage of header/id combinations, @summary and @longdesc for HTML5 WG

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 16:24:15 +0200
To: "Robert Burns" <rob@robburns.com>, "Eric Eggert" <w3c@yatil.de>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.tyneap0awxe0ny@widsith.home>

On Fri, 14 Sep 2007 15:23:09 +0200, Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com> wrote:

> Hi Eric,
>
> On Sep 14, 2007, at 7:25 AM, Eric Eggert wrote:
>
...
>     [ A few anecdotes about the 'longdesc' attribute ....]
>>
>> Conclusion: I'm sorry folks, but I'm afraid you will have to come up  
>> with something else other than longdesc.
>
> I don't really understand how anyone can go from Thomas's few  
> interesting anecdotes to that conclusion.

Nor do I. What Thomas says is that nobody used the longdesc on his site. I  
don't know all the site, but I did a  crawl around the site to see it.  
There are no images that I can imagine asking for a description of, in a  
very text-heavy site. I believe that this particular evidence is therefore  
not very interesting, since the site doesn't provide any interesting  
motivation to use longdesc. (Unless people thought that blind people  
*generally* care what images look like - as far as I can tell that is not  
the case).

The fact that nobody used it on this site is certainly not a reason to  
suggest a new mechanism. The question is whether, where it is available in  
a situation where a description is likely to be important to users,  
whether people use it. (Bearing in mind that even then, the  
implementations on the client side are not very friendly, you would expect  
a very low level of usage - although higher than Thomas' figure). So we  
need to find similar data from sites where there is a user motivation to  
get the descriptions, and where we can expect to have some users with a  
use case for doing so.

Without some research into what happens in such cases it seems wildly  
premature to start redesigning the functionality...

cheers

Chaals

-- 
   Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
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Received on Friday, 14 September 2007 14:24:29 UTC

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