W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2008

Re: longdesc="" in HTML5

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 09:19:55 +0100
Message-ID: <48C4E02B.3010308@cfit.ie>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Sun, 7 Sep 2008, Joshue O Connor wrote:
>> Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> I hate to throw fuel on the fire here, but as far as longdesc="" is 
>>> concerned, the reason it isn't in HTML5 is that there has never been 
>>> any feedback sent that described a problem for which longdesc="" was 
>>> even remotely considered as a solution.
>> Secondly, what about the need for a long descriptor? The authors of HTML 4 saw
>> a need for it. Has this need gone away?
> What is the problem that a long description is solving? A long description 
> isn't a need, it's a solution to a need/requirement/problem. If the need 
> is something like "users who can't see bar charts need a way to have the 
> information in the bar chart conveyed to them", why isn't <p> sufficient? 

If the information /is/ on the page and this can be indicated to the 
user in some way via ARIA described by or similar then in principle yes, 
fair point. Usually @longdesc is explicitly associated with <img>. [1]

> Are there any examples where putting the information on a different page 
> in a way that requires explicit activation to show the information is ever 
> a significantly better solution than just having the information be right 
> there in the page for everyone to see?

No probably not. How the information is presented to the user is partly 
a user agent issue and this is where @longdesc has suffered due to poor 
support/implementation etc. In an ideal world, I would like to see the 
@longdesc content pre-loaded/buffered with the user able to access it 
via a user agent keystroke without even having to leave the host <img> 
elements focus.



[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/objects.html#adef-longdesc-IMG
Received on Monday, 8 September 2008 08:20:42 UTC

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