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RE: D-links (was Conformance Testing Proposal)

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 16:54:58 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A1E30EF@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Sorry, Joe, just went to the first of the sites you listed and I don't
get it.  What would prevent the person who owns that page from providing
a meaningful text link to text that describes the images?  If the page
is generated by some kind of album application, the application could
prompt for the description and build a link to it; if there's a template
into which the content flows, the template could be designed to
accommodate the text link. Would most people use such features if they
existed? Probably not.  But most people who put up sites like this
aren't trying to make conformance claims anyway.  Still, it would be
nice if the applications they use gave them the option to do it in a
meaningful way.

(And, btw, the pulldown menu at the bottom of the page appears to have
an onchange handler...)

On the second site you listed, again there's nothing to prevent
providing a meaningful text link to a description.  The images have alt
attributes, but they're not really valid: each <img> is a link, and you
can't put null alt on a graphical link.  So they *could* make the image
a link to the enlarged view of itself, and make the text caption link to
a text description.  If they wanted to.

"Good design is accessible design." 
Please note our new name and URL!
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Joe Clark
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 4:06 pm
Subject: D-links (was Conformance Testing Proposal)

> Some comments about longdesc and d-links:
> 1. We should not *require* redundant use of longdesc *and* d-link for
> <img> elements that need additional description.   If support for
> longdesc isn't widespread enough to be reliable,

Well, what do you mean by that?

The user agent that WCAG WG has historically custom-crafted its
guidelines to cater to, Jaws on IE for Windows, can read a longdesc.
Window-Eyes supports it. You can read longdescs in Mozilla. There are
other implementations, for all I know. (iCab, even, not that it really

It's in the spec. Some user agents support it, and the rest of them are 
gonna have to eventually.

The D-link option was always a kludge and simply is not justifiable. It
extra-specification: To endorse it is to concede that the HTML spec
isn't good enough. It says the spec is so bad, in fact, that we have to
recommend nonstandard workarounds. Well, why?

> we should require that
> descriptions be provided either on-page or in a separate, linked 
> file/window.

I think not.

> 2. On pages that display multiple images that require description, 
> link-text pointing to the descriptions should identify the image to 
> which the description refers.

How's that gonna work on photoblog pages with valid code and correct 
alt-text usage?


(using null alt text when adjacent text does the job)

Where are you gonna put 20 letter Ds?

(Hi, Chris!)

Let's stick to the spec.


    Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
    Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
    Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Wednesday, 7 April 2004 17:55:08 UTC

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