W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-publishing-sc@w3.org > August 2019

Re: Query from APA WG on longdesc usage

From: Bill Kasdorf <kasdorf.bill@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2019 18:00:36 -0400
Message-ID: <CALhciFjLNLmoit-vt8j5cgwm2WP73fHX7FJCSp_XyyAY9O9wJw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@gmail.com>
Cc: Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>, W3C Publishing Steering Committee <public-publishing-sc@w3.org>
If you're interested, here's what the JATS spec says:

*Accessibility:* *Please* reserve this tag for accessibility uses such as
> pronouncing screen readers. The <long-desc>
> <https://jats.nlm.nih.gov/publishing/tag-library/1.1d2/element/long-desc.html> is
> not a visual element; rather, its purpose is to be spoken in circumstances
> where the visual form of the object cannot be viewed. This element differs
> from the <alt-text>
> <https://jats.nlm.nih.gov/publishing/tag-library/1.1d2/element/alt-text.html> element
> in both length and purpose. The <alt-text>
> <https://jats.nlm.nih.gov/publishing/tag-library/1.1d2/element/alt-text.html> is
> typically very short, for quick scan reading by a screen reader or showing
> as words *behind* a graphic. The <long-desc>
> <https://jats.nlm.nih.gov/publishing/tag-library/1.1d2/element/long-desc.html> is
> meant for an extended description of an object such as a figure, table,
> graphic, etc., for example, a textual summary of a pie chart that explains
> both the visual form of the chart and significance of its findings.


And yes, I realize you don't need longdesc for extended descriptions, and
that ARIA markup is needed. But unless I'm mistaken I still think there's
some uncertainty about exactly how to provide extended descriptions in HTML
in a way that actually works reliably for AT. I would love to be wrong
about that.


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On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 5:49 PM <matt.garrish@gmail.com> wrote:

> It’s not the case that you need longdesc is order to provide extended
> descriptions, and it doesn’t quite sound like the JATS implementation is
> entirely compatible with the longdesc attribute. The longdesc attribute
> only takes a URL to the description, which could be inline in the document
> or out-of-band. The JATS description sounds more like a general mechanism
> for providing the description text, that only grudgingly takes a URL (but
> that may be my naïve reading).
>
>
>
> The ability to store the description is certainly useful, but there are
> other, better ways of transforming such information into a usable form.
> aria-describedby and aria-details provide more viable, but still imperfect,
> methods for associating the descriptions, for example.
>
>
>
> Matt
>
>
>
> *From:* Bill Kasdorf <kasdorf.bill@gmail.com>
> *Sent:* August 12, 2019 18:35
> *To:* Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org>
> *Cc:* W3C Publishing Steering Committee <public-publishing-sc@w3.org>
> *Subject:* Re: Query from APA WG on longdesc usage
>
>
>
> 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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> >
> >
> > <#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>
> >
> > 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>
>
>
>


-- 
*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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Received on Monday, 12 August 2019 22:01:39 UTC

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