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RE: D-link and LONGDESC (GL type stuff)

From: R. Dolloff <averil@concentric.net>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 17:13:08 -0500
Message-Id: <3.0.1.32.19980422171308.007bdbc0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Chuck Oppenheimer wrote:
>LONGDESC is a HREF to another page that can have as much markup as needed.

RD::
Okay, so I totally missed the boat on this one. My bad. Revisions,
revisions. Sorry to rehash this if it's already been talked to death (which
I suspect it has since it's already in the recommendations), but I want to
make sure I understand it so I properly implement it in my own work, part
of which involves teaching others how to do this. Scary, huh? <grin>

As I now understand this attribute, it seems redundant to me and somewhat
exclusionist as it tends to hide accessibility from those who have no
special need of it. On the one hand, this is good, in that it is offers a
smooth(er) integration of accessibility into, say, a GUI environment, in
essence supplying the wheelchair ramp without interfering with the
architechtural design. On the other, it does nothing to promote the need
for accessibility to people who do not examine source code when they visit
a web site.

I review source code on nearly every web site I visit, and it's clearly
evident when someone has used a WYSIWYG editor to insert the HTML with no
understanding of the HTML itself. Quite often (particularly in Claris Home
Page, I've noticed), IMG tags still automatically include WIDTH and HEIGHT
attributes (ALT? Can't remember offhand if that was included), but the
author has not supplied those values and did not KNOW to supply those values. 

Until such time as that is addressed, it seems the best way to handle some
issues of accessibility is to be obvious. That's why I stand by my previous
recommendation that "D-Link" could be just one more in the same list of
navigation links as "Home" or "About Our Company" or anything else. No
tricky transparent GIFs, no attributes the average web page author doesn't
understand or is not included or explained in a WYSIWYG editor. Just a
plain hypertext link to the same place those other techniques are going to
take the person anyway.

This hour's opinion, anyway. 

Ree' Dolloff
Received on Wednesday, 22 April 1998 18:11:23 GMT

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