W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2012

RE: Using an image map for long described image links [Was: Revert Request]

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 00:41:55 -0800
To: "'Matthew Turvey'" <mcturvey@gmail.com>, "'Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis'" <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Cc: "'Leif Halvard Silli'" <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, "'Silvia Pfeiffer'" <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Paul Cotton'" <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00b201cce0bd$5d86fc30$1894f490$@ca>
Matthew Turvey wrote:
> Removing the HTML-A11Y-TF's "no visual encumbrance" and "no default
> indicator" constraints would certainly improve perceivability for
> sighted users, and the range of authoring options available :)

It would be significantly more helpful if you bothered to try to understand
what those requirements actually state; specifically that the visual
encumbrance not be injected *in the web page* by the browsers, because (as
has been pointed out more times than I care to recall) this has an artistic
impact on the visual design of the page, a fact that even Jonas acknowledged
as a problem in his Change Proposal: 

    "This is because page designers often have quite strict requirements on
the visual appearance of the page and it would likely negatively impact the
level of accessibility support if contents specifically for for example
screen readers had to be provided within those requirements."

Contrast that with proof of concept solutions such as the Opera "Tell Me
More" extension, which places the visual indicator in the browser chrome. 

Note that if the author does not have those kinds of design restrictions, a
possible solution might also be Dirk Ginader's jQuery solution, which
leverages the @longdesc attribute with an on-screen indicator. As well, if
the sighted end user is more concerned with having the longer description
visually indicated over "artistic purity" they could use a plugin such as
the Firefox "Longdesk" solution:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/longdesk/ (which I have
brought to the attention of the WG on more than one occasion.) Both of these
solutions are in circulation today, and both work with @longdesc. 

All 3 of these solutions also support the 3 key requirements of
discoverability, choice to consume or not consume, and preservation of HTML
structured content; requirements that using aria-describedby with hidden or
off-screen content simply cannot deliver.

If however you Matt don't have those same artistic constraints, then by all
means you are welcome to provide any type of linking mechanism to your
longer textual description you desire: use an actual link, resurrect the "D"
link if you want, place the long description in the same page, hide it,
don't hide it, feel free to do whatever you please. There are no
"accessibility police" that will track you down and condemn your actions.
Just do not expect that because it works for *you* that it is the only
acceptable solution for every other author or user on the web. The arrogance
of that kind of suggestion is mind-boggling, simplistic and significantly
more "controlling" than the flexibility that those in favor of retaining
@longdesc have shown.

Received on Wednesday, 1 February 2012 08:42:41 UTC

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