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

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 00:07:30 +0200
Message-ID: <48C450A2.50407@lachy.id.au>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, 'W3C WAI-XTECH' <wai-xtech@w3.org>

John Foliot wrote:
> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> "something else" in the last sentence could be:
>>   * Merely juxtaposed text that restates whatever it is the image
>> illustrates.
>>   * Juxtaposed text associated with aria-describedby.
>>   * Link to a different page phrased as a "more information" link for
>> all audiences as opposed to a [D]-link.
>>   * <object> element with HTML fallback content.
> 
> Henri, none of these "solutions" provide what @longdesc provides now: yes,
> they are alternative ways of providing the required information, but none of
> them deliver the same functionality

Another solution is to make the image itself a link:

<a href="description" title="More information"><img 
src="sales-chart.png" alt="Sales increased 20% over the period"></a>

This has several advantages over any of the other solutions:

1. It is available to everyone.
2. This link is unambiguously associated with the image, just like
    longdesc.
3. It doesn't affect the design of the site like a separate
    _more information_ link would.
4. We already have proof that regular links work and are compatible with
    all browsers and assistive technologies, unlike longdesc.
5. It also does not require new versions of ATs to be deployed before
    it potentially becomes useful and practical for anyone.

Finally, if any other indication may be needed to indicate that it's a 
link to a long description, then adding rel="longdesc" is a possibility. 
But I didn't include it in the example, because the need for it is not 
yet clear.

It has been suggested to me that there may be cases where an image needs 
to have a description and provide a link elsewhere, which would make 
this solution unusable. But no-one has yet been able to provide a valid 
use case illustrating that.

-- 
Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
http://lachy.id.au/
http://www.opera.com/
Received on Sunday, 7 September 2008 22:08:12 UTC

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