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Re: ISSUE-30 longdesc - Chairs Solicit Alternate Proposals or Counter-Proposals

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 14:40:56 -0400
Message-ID: <4E53F438.9060508@intertwingly.net>
To: Matthew Turvey <mcturvey@gmail.com>
CC: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 06/25/2011 12:32 PM, Matthew Turvey wrote:
> I've written a zero edit change proposal for Issue 30 here:
>
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/LongdescZeroEdit
>
> I've got a couple of bits I want to add this evening, but any other
> contributions or amendments are welcome.

Chair feedback on the Longdesc Zero Edit proposal:

http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/LongdescZeroEdit

General comments:

This proposal makes numerous references to hopes and what users "may 
want" and contains assertions that certain outcomes "seem unlikely" or 
would be "more likely".  The first general comment is that arguments 
such as these carry more weight when backed with evidence.

The proposal also makes a number of references to "no evidence" and 
mentions "better techniques".  It would be helpful to enumerate each of 
the use cases mentioned in the InstateLongdesc proposal and, for each, 
show the where evidence was lacking and what techniques would be better 
in that specific case.

Specific comments:

One of the points in the "Problems with Longdesc" section focuses 
exclusively on citing accessibility specialists -- just citing 
authorities is not by itself a strong argument; explaining the relevant 
arguments carries more weight

Please cite the cartoonist that a point in the "Use Cases" section 
alludes.  Seven cartoonists were cited in the InstateLongdesc proposal 
and none of them appear to involve a quote.

As no change proposal suggests providing a direct functional replacement 
for longdesc, consider either making this more directly applicable to 
"Keep the longdesc attribute for the img element deprecated" proposal, 
or striking the point entirely.

Two assertions are made in the "Positive Effects" section concerning 
what authors "will be able to" do.  It is unclear why this is a positive 
effect, since authors are already able to use these techniques.  Either 
an explanation should be provided or consider striking this item.

Next steps:

That's entirely up to the people that proposed this option, as this is 
merely friendly feedback at this point.  If feedback, such as the one on 
citing the cartoonist, is not addressed, we may end up not accepting 
that particular point.

More important is the comment on addressing each use case.  The history 
of this issue is that the primary reason that the original proposal to 
instate Longdesc wasn't selected was lack of use cases.  Use cases were 
later provided and the chairs have publicly stated that that information 
would likely have materially affected the outcome of the last survey.

Addressing some, but not all, of the use cases may still leave some 
uncontested uses for longdesc.  It would be entirely OK to put forward a 
proposal that says that some of the use cases are to be treated as 
not-valid, and some are.  But we (as chairs) are unlikely to invent such 
a proposal.  If that is what somebody wants to advocate, they are 
welcome to do so.

If anybody plans on either revising any of the current proposals or to 
submit a new proposal based on this feedback, please let us know so that 
we can plan accordingly.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 18:41:25 GMT

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