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RE: descriptive titles

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 14:11:01 -0400
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB5130FA5E7@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: <public-wcag-teamb@w3.org>
I have a few questions and observations.  I am delightfully unsurprised to note that John has a better handle on this exercise than I!

1)  Am I correct to recall that we gave up on “meaningful” since that was too hard to objectively test for?

2)  Level 2 SC 2.4.3 changes from “Web units have titles” to “Web Units have descriptive titles” does Level 3 SC 2.4.5 change from “Titles, headings, and labels are descriptive” to “Headings, and labels are descriptive”?

3)  It is a given that features be used correctly.  I believe the html specification is well understood to require that title attributes be meaningful to humans.  We can create failure examples of values that are not descriptive, but I think it will be close to impossible to define standards that objectively discriminate between acceptable and unacceptable levels of detail to qualify values as “descriptive” or “not descriptive enough.”  Is such a goal part of this exercise?

4)  I do not believe we a choice about being comfortable with the term “descriptive.”  Among other terms of art we have Audio Description and longdesc.  I don’t anyone is suggesting that the word be deleted from WCAG 2.0, I just thought I would mention it.

Follows are excerpts with definitions for AD, longdesc, and title.  I am not so thrilled to note that our AD definition does not capitalize the term and could be considered circular since it relies upon the word “describe.”  Perhaps it is hypocritical, but the same recursive flaw seems okay with me for longdesc.

audio description:  narration added to the soundtrack to describe important visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone.  [1]

longdesc:  This attribute specifies a link to a long description of the image.  This description should supplement the short description provided using the alt attribute.  When the image has an associated image map, this attribute should provide information about the image map’s contents.  [2]

title:  This attribute offers advisory information about the element for which it is set.  [snip, vs tag]  Values of the title attribute may be rendered by user agents in a variety of ways.  For instance, visual browsers frequently display the title as a “tool tip” (a short message that appears when the pointing device pauses over an object).  Audio user agents may speak the title information in a similar context.  For example, setting the attribute on a link allows user agents (visual and non-visual) to tell users about the nature of the linked resource:  [3]

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/appendixA.html#audiodescdef
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#adef-longdesc-IMG
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/global.html#adef-title
Received on Saturday, 26 August 2006 18:11:45 UTC

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