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RE: D-link and LONGDESC (GL and UA type stuff)

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 11:46:11 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "GL - WAI Guidelines WG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Gregg wrote:
>GV:  Remember that LONGDESC does not contain a long description - or
>any text.  It contains a URL.  Thus it is a link to  information...
>not information itself

JRG: Right, but the description information in the BODY of the URL could be
inserted into the document.  Just like the data in an image file URL is
formed into a picture and inserted into the document.

>GV:  The suggestion I made below was that the user have the option of
>deciding whether a browser would place a small icon next to picture
>that a person could "click on" to send for a description - or - not
>have any icon present.  (which is what could be the default behavior
>of the browser).  Thus no one would see the little "D's" unless they
>set their browser to show them.

JRG: In some cases, like especially learning disabilities, I think having
the image and the LONGDESC information on one page is desirable.  If the
only way to access LONGDESC information was to open a new document, there
would be less integration of the information.  
>GV:  Having LONGDESC without a D-LINK (old kind) is not be of any
>benefit until browsers support LONGDESC.  That may be awhile - so I'm
>not sure if we want to put that forward as helping today.     If both
>are put in then the D-LINK would work for old browsers and it would
>disappear when the new browsers came on line (if the browsers were
>done as suggested).  It would only be recommended though, so that
>no-one who doesn't want to use D-LINKS would have to.  It would just
>be a recommendation for those who wanted to take the extra effort to
>do so.
>GV:  One disadvantage of the approach I described is that the page
>will lay out slightly differently if the graphic D's are show or not.
>This may not be a big problem since people look at the pages with so
>many different sized screens that it lays out differently for them
>anyway...    But it is something to think about.

JRG: I don't think this should be too much of a problem.  HTML is suppose
to be display independent (grin) and if somebody turns on a feature to
access long description information, they will be expecting some type of
accessibility problem.

>GV:  I don't think very many people would ever want LONGDESCs inserted
>into the text of a page as a regular event.   LONGDESCs are usually
>detailed information that a person occasionally wants to look at.. but
>usually doesn't  want to read again.   For example, you might be
>interested in the description of the logo for a company but would not
>want the description to be inserted into the running text wherever it

JRG: My main concern, as stated before, having the LONGDESC information and
the original IMAGE displayed simultaneously is useful to some people with
learning disabilities and TBI's.  The D-Link solution provides a level of
backward compatibility which is good for incouraging the inclusion of
D-Links now.  In reality the LONGDESC will probably be used in situations
where the author is less concerned about visual formatting and so the
display of the D-Link will not be visually disruptive. For example images
used in highly formatted menus only need ALT text to convey the links, but
a graph of information that could benefit froma LONGDESC is probably not
going to be part of a high formatted structure.

Do we need to have two ways (or other ways) of rendering LONGDESC
1. Put in a D-Link if the user selects a browser option that they want to
view LONGDESC information.
2. Insert LONGDESC information into the current document so that the
LONGDESC information could be viewed simultaneously with the image it

What do people think?

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
Received on Thursday, 23 April 1998 12:44:35 UTC

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