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

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 14:27:10 +1000 (EST)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
cc: WAI <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980425140805.8640D-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Kynn made lots of good points, but the size of the message is getting 
unmanageable for me so I will try and summarise.

D-links are good when preaching to the choir, but no good unless the 
masses use them:
Very true. Many members of the W3c are in a position to (and as I 
understand it are contractually bound to) preach to very large audiences 
about w3c recommendations.

Little D's all over pages look terrible, and won't be acceptable to many 
designers:
More to the point, they won't be acceptable to the designer's customers. 
While preaching the law on accessibility may help, it is hardly a 
pleasant way to have to procedd.
The use of another image in place of the D's as I have discussed, can 
alleviate many of these problems. I have started to clean up my own 
legacy site, and there aare examples of how D-links could be used on 
http://www.srl.rmit.edu.au/charles/ and on the link about being a 
husband. I think that the image used as a link to the description might 
be a big red dot - it is supposed to be a single white pixel, but I am 
using a text-only link, so couldn't hunt around for one and haven't made 
it yet. (I'll do that on monday)

D-links don't need to be used just for descriptive text, and broadening 
their use may make it easier to convince people to use them:
Yes Yes Yes yes YES. Same goes for most of what we do - if it is possible 
to avoid the "ruining it for 98% to fix it for 2%" argument, and usually 
that argument is based on over-narrow assumptions, so much the better.

It is a 2-way street - designers and browser manufacturers both have to 
come to the party:
As I understood it, joining w3c meant signing a legal contract agreeing 
to do just that. But in general, yes. D-link is an example of a solution 
produced by page-authors which did not require any action on behalf of 
browser manufacturers. LONGDESC is the same solution, but requires the 
browser manufacturers to work out the implementation.

LONGDESC should be a right-click type option:
Sounds eminently sensible to me. For a browser like Lynx, my suggestion 
is to add a 'D-link' link after any object which has a LONGDESC - 
provides consistency with D-linked sites currently in use. As Kynn 
pointed out, the difficulty in the case is that many images are links 
already. A visual solution will a) not solve the problem for unsighted 
users and b) put designers offside. Neither of these are likely to be a 
problem for browsers like Lynx which are not used by most designers 
except as a testbed for accessibility requirements.



Charles McCathieNevile
Received on Saturday, 25 April 1998 00:46:30 GMT

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