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Re: Query from APA WG on longdesc usage

From: Bill Kasdorf <kasdorf.bill@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2019 17:34:31 -0400
Message-ID: <CALhciFjwwQuZ_L8E+w24YcUi6c11cAbyOm5dk0h-fSmShZZmQg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>
Cc: W3C Publishing Steering Committee <public-publishing-sc@w3.org>
One other comment on why I responded the way I did. The answer to how much
longdesc is used--very likely "hardly at all"--can easily but mistakenly be
construed as meaning nobody needs it. I encountered the same problem when
EPUB folks (some very smart EPUB folks) were saying "Why do we need to
bother with MathML? Nobody uses it." Well, nobody uses it _in EPUB_ because
it doesn't work well in EPUB reading systems. But millions upon millions of
equations are created in MathML in scholarly publishing workflows. It's
important for folks not to interpret "nobody uses X" as "nobody wants to
use X." So no, probably few if any publishers use longdesc (I've never
advised a client to use it), but they need the functionality it represents
in some form. I just wanted to make sure that point wasn't missed.

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On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 4:29 PM Bill Kasdorf <kasdorf.bill@gmail.com> wrote:

> Yes, I understood that. I just figured it was relevant to know whether a
> lot of scholarly content has <long-desc> content because it needs a
> counterpart in HTML. As long as that's available, no problem. But my
> understanding is that there is some uncertainty to that. I never advise
> people to actually use longdesc in HTML, so I don't think that is
> explicitly used much at all, certainly not to my knowledge. In fact it was
> only recently that I realized that it was un-disappeared. ;)
>
>
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> On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 3:57 PM Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org> wrote:
>
>> Thanks Bill.   Your answer is related but not exactly to the question I
>> intended to ask.
>>
>> The question here is specifically about the longdesc attribute to W3C
>> HTML5; i.e.
>>
>>    https://www.w3.org/TR/html-longdesc/
>>
>> Other architecturally similar variants, such as a <long-desc> element,
>> can be evidence of a still-useful concept but are less relevant to the
>> HTML specification.
>>
>> And yes; this is a question about the actual use in practice.
>>
>> -Ralph
>>
>> On 2019-08-12 03:31 PM, Bill Kasdorf wrote:
>> > I can report that the XML model that is pretty much universally used in
>> > scholarly publishing--JATS for journals and its counterpart BITS for
>> > books--contains longdesc in the form <long-desc>, as well as the
>> element
>> > <alt-text>.  In my modeling work I always encourage the use of both,
>> > with <alt-text> being used for the content of the required @alt
>> > attribute on <img> in HTML and the content of <long-desc> for what
>> would
>> > currently be referred to as an extended description. What I can't
>> report
>> > is how much they are actually used in practice; I hope some of the
>> > publishers or service providers in the PBG or PBGSC can comment on that.
>> >
>> > The best way to find out how commonly those are used would probably be
>> > to check with the major scholarly journal hosts--Atypon (now owned by
>> > Wiley and thus a W3C member), HighWire Press, Silverchair, and Ingenta.
>> > The four of those host the vast majority of scholarly journal content.
>> > Atypon has the biggest proportion of those four so I would suggest
>> > checking with Marty Picco of Atypon as a start (mpicco@atypon.com
>> > <mailto:mpicco@atypon.com>).
>> >
>> > <
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>> >
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>> >
>> > On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 2:26 PM Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org
>> > <mailto:swick@w3.org>> wrote:
>> >
>> >     In what Publishing forum is Janina Sajka's query about current
>> usage of
>> >     longdesc in Publishing best addressed?
>> >
>> >     On 2019-08-12 12:21 PM, Janina Sajka wrote:
>> >      > Hi, Judy:
>> >      >
>> >      > APA has become aware that there is a proposal afoot to obsolete
>> >      > longdesc. We would likely not oppose that unless there is still
>> >     use of
>> >      > longdesc, perhaps in legacy education publications still
>> actively in
>> >      > distribution.
>> >      >
>> >      > If there is still such use, or if Details/Summary and/or
>> >     Annotations use
>> >      > isn't sufficiently mature to completely replace longdesc, we
>> need to
>> >      > know that from our Publishing people.
>> >      >
>> >      > It seemed this would be a useful agendum for our upcoming CC
>> call.
>> >      >
>> >      > Best,
>> >      >
>> >      > Janina
>> >      >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > *Bill Kasdorf*
>> > /Principal, Kasdorf & Associates, LLC/
>> > /Founding Partner, Publishing Technology Partners
>> > <https://pubtechpartners.com/>
>> > /
>> > kasdorf.bill@gmail.com <mailto:kasdorf.bill@gmail.com>
>> > +1 734-904-6252
>> >
>> > ISNI:http://isni.org/isni/0000000116490786
>> > ORCiD:https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7002-4786
>> > <https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7002-4786?lang=en>
>> >
>> >
>>
>
>
> --
> *Bill Kasdorf*
> *Principal, Kasdorf & Associates, LLC*
>
> *Founding Partner, Publishing Technology Partners
> <https://pubtechpartners.com/>*
> kasdorf.bill@gmail.com
> +1 734-904-6252
>
> ISNI: http://isni.org/isni/0000000116490786
> ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7002-4786
> <https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7002-4786?lang=en>
>
>
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-- 
*Bill Kasdorf*
*Principal, Kasdorf & Associates, LLC*

*Founding Partner, Publishing Technology Partners
<https://pubtechpartners.com/>*
kasdorf.bill@gmail.com
+1 734-904-6252

ISNI: http://isni.org/isni/0000000116490786
ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7002-4786
<https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7002-4786?lang=en>
Received on Monday, 12 August 2019 21:35:29 UTC

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