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Re: Why OBJECT has no LONGDESC

From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 16:54:16 -0400
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19980522165416.00b40820@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 12:58 PM 22/05/98 -0400, Al Gilman wrote:
>to follow up on what Wendy A Chisholm said:
>
>> <OBJECT data="sales.gif" type="image/gif">
>>           Sales in 1997 were down subsequent to ...
>> </OBJECT> 
>> 
>> However, OBJECT does not have an "alt" attribute, although it does have
>> "title."  [2]
>
>Let me expand the example a little.
>
><OBJECT title="sales trend chart" data="199x-sales-graph.gif"
type="image/gif">
>  As seen from 
>  <A title="sales trend analysis" 
>     href="/analysis/reports/1997/sales/year.html#trends">
>     comparison with prior years</A>, sales in
>     1997 were down, subsequent to...
>   </A>
></OBJECT>

LQ::  Both of these examples give replacement content for the image rather
than a description of it.  This is the way it should be done for seamless
accessibility, but apparently some non-visual users also want a description
of the images that they can't see.  For example, the graph might have the
following as a long description:

The <A href="199x-sales-graph.gif" title="Sales Trend Chart">graph</A>
shows the sales trends over the last few years with gold-coloured,
three-dimensional bars representing the sales revenue in each year from
1994 to 1997.  The bars are adorned with the face of our CEO as a symbol of
his enormous ego.  His face features a gushing smile in the bars for 1994
and 1995, but the smile turns into a look of anger and dismay in the bars
for 1996 and 1997.  The revenues indicated by the graph are as follows:
[and so on...]

The utility of a long description probably isn't very apparent from this
example.  I think the example of a corporate logo is a better case to
examine.  With seamless accessibility, one might use "XYZ Company" as the
content of the OBJECT element that embeds the logo of XYZ Company.  This is
good enough for most users, but some want to know what the logo looks like.
 If this information were provided or linked to in the content of the
OBJECT element, we would be distracting the non-visual user with
unnecessary details of the visual rendering.  If OBJECT had a LONGDESC
attribute, the replacement content ("XYZ Company") and the image
description could be clearly separated so that users could decide whether
they want the seamless version or not.

-- 
Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/
Received on Friday, 22 May 1998 16:54:17 GMT

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