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

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 17:19:46 -0500
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B01351A00@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Patrick Lauke" <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Patrick Lawke wrote:
<blockquote>
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
disabled/unavailable)
</blockquote>
Rather than literally using a "d-link" (that is, <a
href="somedescription.htm">d</a>), consider providing meaningful screen
or alt text for the link to the description. The link text then makes
sense both in and out of context, whereas the letter "d" showing up by
itself in the tab order or a links list always seems bizarre even when
you know what it is.

If the screen design won't support screen text for the link use a
graphic icon with appropriate alt text.  And if there's more than one
image on the page that has an associated description, then the link text
should clearly identify which description appears at the other end of
the link.

Screen reader support for CSS 3 isn't quite there yet...

JOhn

"Good design is accessible design."

Dr. John M. Slatin, Director 
Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin 
FAC 248C 
1 University Station G9600 
Austin, TX 78712 
ph 512-495-4288, fax 512-495-4524 
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu 
Web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility 



-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Patrick Lauke
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2005 11:10 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: browser support of longdesc (was RE: Is an empty alt attribute
ok when...)



> 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
http://www.splintered.co.uk/experiments/55/
which just adds the option to follow the longdesc link in the context
menu...

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
disabled/unavailable)

Patrick
________________________________
Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
http://www.salford.ac.uk
Received on Friday, 13 May 2005 22:19:55 GMT

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