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Re: use of the "d" link for images

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 17:13:46 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jeff Isom <jeff@cpd2.usu.edu>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0104241709460.18179-100000@tux.w3.org>
Well, the best way would be to have some real markup that can be used, such
as the longdesc attribute for img. Unfortunately HTML browsers have been
really slow to implement this - although it is now in a handful of browsers,
including iCab (the one I use so the one I know best).

It can be helpful to include a title for the link, or to use a graphic that
includes the title as an alternative, which says "description of preceeding
image" or something helpful. (Having to skip through these is why longdesc
would be a better way to do it).

Wheter to put a long  description in is a judgement call. It is often useful
- for example if someone says "click on the apple icon" it is handy to be
able to check through the longdescs until you find an icon that claims to
look like an apple. It is crucial for some images - for example a sewing


Charles McCN

On Tue, 24 Apr 2001, Jeff Isom wrote:

  I understand the purpose of the "d" link is to provide the user with a
  description of a complex graphic.  Should all images have "d" links or only
  those that are complex?  In other words, although a description of an image
  may not be essential to the content of the site, would it be a good idea to
  give the user and opportunity to experience the graphic in a more meaningful

  In addition, it seems that using the "d" tag could be confusing to the user
  if there were a number of complex graphics on the page.  As the user tabbed
  throught the links they would hear "link d" . . . "link d" . . . "link d".
  They would have to work to figure out what image the link refers to.  I know
  this is convention for describing images, but is it the best approach?


  Jeffrey Isom
  Instructional Designer
  Web Accessibility in Mind (http://www.webaim.org)
  Center for Persons with Disabilities
  Utah State University
  Logan, Utah   84322-6800
  (435) 797-7582

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Tuesday, 24 April 2001 17:13:48 UTC

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