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Re: example spec text for longdesc

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2011 19:38:48 -0500
Message-ID: <BANLkTikE2kdjrxtgpQ648Q9OwOsfrT-0eQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: Matthew Turvey <mcturvey@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi Steve,

> "A very important requirement is to respect a web page's visual design
> and have no *forced* visual encumbrance. It should be some type of
> user choice."
>
> the display and format of most html features are stylable using CSS

Yes. longdesc is one of them. I think Leif has styled longdesc to be visible.

> what is the issue with having an indication of the presence of longdesc as a
> default, which can then be styled away if required by developers or users?

>From what I have gathered [1] [2] long descriptions are typically
redundant to the majority of users as they usually describe  what is
visually evident.

Again it is akin to closed captions being redundant to most people who
can hear [3].

Another analogy would be if we were to make alt visible by default or
provided visible indicators of  alt by default. Making indicators
visible by default would cause needless work for designers to hide
them or frustration to sighted users if designers didn't hide them.

Longdesc affords authors the native capability to provide information
that is essential for blind and visually impaired users but would be
redundant for sighted users and unacceptable to visual designers'
aesthetics [4]. Many artists, designers, and marketers do not want
their visual designs changed/ruined with visible link text or
indicators. Being  free from a visual encumbrance is an asset.

If it is a user option, the *user* can decide what it best for them.
>From what I have gathered it seems to me that the default should be
opt-in not opt-out.

Does this make sense to you?

Best Regards,
Laura

[1] http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/ld.html
[2] http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/ld.html#uc
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Apr/0130.html
[4] http://www.cssquirrel.com/2010/08/16/comic-update-alone-in-the-pitch-black-dark/#comment-32126
-- 
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Thursday, 7 April 2011 00:39:16 GMT

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