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RE: Long description and image on same page (was RE: [techs] Summary of techniques teleconference 22 September 2004)

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 14:21:51 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A033182B6@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "John M Slatin" <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>, "Sailesh Panchang" <spanchang02@yahoo.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I want to clarify something I said earlier today on this thread. I
wrote:
<blockquote>
It's entirely possible that longdesc isn't the best technique to use,
and in fact an explicit text link might not always be the best thing
either-- I would be interested in finding/learning about techniques that
would establish an explicit association between an image and its
description that don't necessarily employ a linking technique, rather
something that a user agent could identify and report (at the user's
discretion, for example). My thought was prompted by the note about RDF
techniques, which I infer could provide a way to designate a block of
text as a description for a given image, so that the two items could
"travel" together.
</blockquote>
 
This is badly stated, and I apologize.  I am *not* saying and do not
mean that use of longdesc should be discouraged!! 
 
There are lots of situations where longdesc is the right solution-- for
example, when (as Sailesh put it) including the description on the same
page as the image would create visual and auditory clutter.
 
The specific scenario I had in mind was one where it would help many
(even most) users to have the image and its description on the same
page. Personally, I would like to know:
(a) would such an explicit association be required under WCAG 2.0
(Guideline 1.1)? And, even if it's not required, and (b) How could such
an association be created and supported by user agents? 
 
In a case where the conventions of writing in a field like art history
or media studies, etc., make it appropriate for images and their
descriptions to appear on the same page, it seems like we wouldn't want
to require a *redundant* description via longdesc or a description-link.
But we might then want a way to indicate programmatically that a certain
portion of the text on the page is explicitly intended to describe a
particular image.
 
Would the following work?
<p><img src="ohno.gif" alt="cartoon"></p>
<p class="caption">Figure 1. Cartoon showing members of WCAG WG with
heads in their hands while Slatin harangues them.</p>
<p>Figure 1 shows a group of people around a conference table. They have
buried their faces in their hands, except for one individual who is
wearing a name tag that says "Slatin." Slatin's mouth is open........
</p>
 
"Good design is accessible design." 
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/
<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 John M Slatin
	Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 9:13 am
	To: Sailesh Panchang; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
	Subject: Long description and image on same page (was RE:
[techs] Summary of techniques teleconference 22 September 2004)
	
	
	Sailesh writes
	<blockquote>
	Hello John /  Gez,
	Gez asked
	Does it still give the same results if the longdesc attribute
was
	marked up with the page name, along with the document fragment
identifier?
	Sailesh:
	Nope. Even WinEyes does not recognize longdesc on same page.
Both JAWS and WinEyes do nothing even if you give full path of longdesc
that links to same page.
	Actually, I wonder why one should give detailed description of
the img  on the same page.  It is text equivalent info meant for those
who cannot see the image. So it will clutter up the page  if it is on
the same page and might be a usability issue for sighted users unless of
course the longdesc contains some explanation of the image etc. which
serves all users. Then why use longdesc... just link to it. 
	[JMS] </blockquote>
	You've got it, Sailesh: there are many cases where description
and explanation/interpretation of a complex imageis the entire point of
a document-- this is true in fields like art history, film studies,
descriptive bibliography (sometimes, anyway), archaeology,
architecture... sometimes in historical writing... sometimes in
scientific writing.
	 
	It's entirely possible that longdesc isn't the best technique to
use, and in fact an explicit text link might not always be the best
thing either-- I would be interested in finding/learning about
techniques that would establish an explicit association between an image
and its description that don't necessarily employ a linking technique,
rather something that a user agent could identify and report (at the
user's discretion, for example). My thought was prompted by the note
about RDF techniques, which I infer could provide a way to designate a
block of text as a description for a given image, so that the two items
could "travel" together.
	 
	Hope that makes sense.
	John
Received on Thursday, 23 September 2004 19:21:53 UTC

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