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RE: CP, ISSUE-30: Link longdesc to role of img [Was: hypothetical question on longdesc]

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 19:21:02 -0700
To: "'David Singer'" <singer@apple.com>
Cc: "'Silvia Pfeiffer'" <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, <janina@rednote.net>, 'xn--mlform-iua@målform.no' <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, <rubys@intertwingly.net>, <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, <mjs@apple.com>, <paul.cotton@microsoft.com>, <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <020601cd0709$480464c0$d80d2e40$@ca>
David Singer wrote:
> 
> I think Silvia has shown a great degree of dedication to the users and
> their needs, and significant flexibility, and that personal comments
> such as this are out of place - especially since, at least in email,
> you also show a fairly…inflexible?…streak on occasion.

Fair enough. I don't mean to single out Silvia alone, there are many
engineers who are refusing to listen to the requests and needs being
articulated by non-sighted users when it comes to wanting a longer
description of the poster image. 

This issue has been discussed at great length many times, and we have
already reached a point of impasse within the HTML-WG. I was angry and
offended by her characterization of the @poster image as nothing more than
an "icon" as we all should fully acknowledge that as media on the web
becomes even more commonplace, commercial entities will spend countless
hours and significant sums crafting that first @poster image (you only get
one chance to make a first impression), and it will hardly serve a role of
simply an "icon".

Suggesting that non-sighted users don't need, or won't require a means of
understanding what that expensive image will be is both unfair and
unrealistic. I have discussed this issue with many non-sighted users and
colleagues, and there is a near universal feedback from them that I am not
wrong here.  As my friend Victor Tsaran (Yahoo!) said to me not too long
ago, what we really need to do is start making the web "fun" for non-sighted
users; that while "access" was slowly getting better, it was oh-so
utilitarian for blind users (Victor is blind himself), and that what we
should be doing is making it "fun". Having the ability to richly describe
that sophisticated image being referenced falls into that category - why
shouldn't we have the ability to provide that rich description?

Dismissing a need (or even simply a request), rather than trying to better
understand a need is frustrating to me, and yes, I will be quite militant in
defending requests and requirements that I hear from disadvantaged end
users, as frankly, that is what I do.

Silvia, I apologize if my frustration and despair took the form of singling
you out.

JF
Received on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 02:21:47 UTC

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