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browser support of longdesc (was RE: Is an empty alt attribute ok when...)

From: Patrick Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 17:09:49 +0100
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B9FD6CBE@misnts16.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> David Balch

> Yeah, I need to check up on browser support of longdesc...

If by support you mean "exposed in an easy and reasonable way to the
end user", then the situation is rather bleak. Out of the main
Win browsers, only Firefox/Mozilla barely support it by showing the
link to longdesc in the image properties dialog (convoluted to get to,
and even then the link is not even clickable). Not sure about the
situation on the Mac...anybody care to fill in the gaps?

I wonder why it seems so hard for browsers to natively implementat
something like my firefox longdesc extension
which just adds the option to follow the longdesc link in the context

Having said that, some assistive technology running on top of the
browser offers access to longdesc, so at least it's exposed
via the API and/or DOM.

But until browsers present longdescs in a user friendly way, you'll
probably still have to revert to using the dreaded [d] links (or use
CSS3's content generation or javascript to create those links client side,
which obviously opens up a whole different can of worms with regards to
backwards compatibility and equivalent functionality when scripting is

Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
Received on Friday, 13 May 2005 16:09:20 UTC

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