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Re: Is longdesc a good solution? (was: Acessibility of <audio> and <video>)

From: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 13:56:00 -0700
To: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Message-Id: <C58671D2-C9C9-4FEF-980F-BCC312575E0B@apple.com>
Cc: 'Lachlan Hunt' <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, public-html@w3.org, 'W3C WAI-XTECH' <wai-xtech@w3.org>

John Foliot wrote:

> First off, many users of AT today do not query for longdesc as it is  
> rarely
> if ever provided - a chicken and egg problem accelerated by the fact  
> that
> most (all?) browsers today still do not natively support this  
> element, and
> support within the major AT tools in the marketplace has only recently
> emerged.

I'd disagree with you on the usefulness of longdesc as a standard  
description mechanism. There is a better, in-document alternative now:  
ARIA's describedby property, which is also implemented in more  
browsers than longdesc.

> While these examples have some problems (my friends at Apple have  
> issues
> with a flash based player and Voiceover, and of course these do not  
> work in
> the iPhone), but the *idea* I believe is worth exploring as a  
> starting point
> for the type of functionality that HTML 5 should afford natively.

You could achieve the same thing by using the 'rel' attribute on a  
link, and it would have the added benefit of providing that link to  
all users, not just the power users of a few AT products. Overloading  
longdesc is a creative workaround to the inaccessibility of the Flash  
Player on Mac, but a better long-term solution is to hound Adobe to  
make the player accessible.

Received on Friday, 5 September 2008 20:56:43 UTC

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