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Re: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-30 longdesc

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2010 11:35:40 +0200
Message-ID: <4C6511EC.5090401@lachy.id.au>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
On 2010-08-12 09:40, Julian Reschke wrote:
> On 12.08.2010 01:56, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>> ...
>> The most important problem of the decision document is that it lacks a
>> focus on semantics. One of the objectors, Lachlan, suggested early on
>> that one could do something like this instead of using @longdesc:
>> <a href=* rel=longdesc href=URL><img src=* alt=*></a>
>> And Lachlan's proposal was spot on with regards to the *semantics* of
>> @longdesc. It is the best alternative to @longdesc, so far. And, to be
>> honest, I am considering accepting this decision, and instead focus on
>> registering rel="longdesc" in the link type registry. The only problem
>> I have, when I am considering the rel="longdesc" solution, is that your
>> decision uses so much energy in stating that there is no use case, that
>> I really wonder if if rel="longdesc" would have your support.

I don't have any problems with rel=longdesc being registered. I'm not 
entirely convinced it's necessary, nor clear on exactly how its presence 
on a link may benefit users, but the ability to register new 
relationships is open to anyone to freely do so.

> I think a longdesc relation type could be interesting, but I'm not
> convinced it's a good substitute for @longdesc (which we should keep).
>
> The reason for this is that
>
> <a href=* rel=longdesc href=URL><img src=* alt=*></a>
>
> only works when the <img> element doesn't already have a parent <a>
> element, which is something which is used a lot.

The problem here is that you are evaluating that option as a lone 
alternative, when in reality, it's one of several choices available to 
authors, each of which has pros and cons, and suitability for different 
situations.  So the fact that making the image itself a link to its long 
description may not be suitable for some specific situations doesn't 
rule out using any of the other possible alternatives.

When evaluating such situations, it's very important to consider the 
context and use case. It's not enough to simply point to the existence 
of images that are already links and claim they couldn't also point to 
long descriptions, without being able to consider whether such images 
even need long descriptions, or whether links could be included adjacent 
to the images in some appropriate way.

-- 
Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
http://lachy.id.au/
http://www.opera.com/
Received on Friday, 13 August 2010 09:36:14 GMT

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