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[Bug 10455] Mint a describedby attribute for the img element

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 22:24:57 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Op7M1-0004vS-5P@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #10 from Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>  2010-08-27 22:24:56 ---
(In reply to comment #9)
> Hi Shelley,
> I'm not saying describedby="" is longdesc="". I can't tell if it is or not. I'm
> asking for a description of *how* describedby="" would work, hopefully one
> sufficiently detailed so we can evaluate the extent to which it differs from
> longdesc="".
> A description of requirements isn't an answer to this question. I'm not asking
> *what problem* describedby="" is intended to solve, I'm asking *how does it
> solve it*. What are the mechanics by which describedby="" would function. Until
> we have a sufficiently concrete proposal, it's impossible to evaluate the
> merits of the proposed new attribute.

>From my reading of what Laura provided, I would imagine describedby provides a
way to associate long complex description of an image specifically geared
towards the blind. There currently is no way to do this. 

For myself, how I'd use describedby: 

I could put the text in the page, but I want this text for the blind -- it's an
assistance for them, no different than braille in elevators, and captions for
tv shows. The text is an equalizer--providing a text description of that, which
others can visually perceive.

The complex description would either be in the same page, or a separate page. I
would prefer a separate page, because I don't want to add to the page bandwidth
for those people who wouldn't need the long description. 

However, I would like all user agents to provide access to the long
description, not just user agents for those with visual impairments. After all,
people can turn on captions for tv shows, even if they don't _need_ the
captions. People can read the braille in an elevator, even if they don't _need_
the braille. 

I don't want to provide a link, because I don't people to assume I'm providing
a caption, or a larger version of the image. I certainly don't want the text to
be visible. That would be too much like trying to re-create Zork in the page.
Remember Zork? 

>You are standing in front of a green house. There is a mailbox in front of the green house.

> open mailbox

>In the mailbox there is a letter

> open letter

Well, you get the picture. Zork was a great game for a text environment, but I
don't think it would hold its own against the graphical games today. But when
you only have text...

I would prefer that everyone can see my image directly, but some people can't.
Rather than them being faced with a gaping hole in the page, I'd like to
provide something. It may not be as nice, but at least they'll know what's
going on.

For user agents like a visual browser, my preferences would be a right mouse
click menu item, because that's usually the menu for choosing different options
for processing the page content. If the browser wanted to add an icon to the
status bar when my cursor was over the image, highlighting that there is a long
description, that would be OK, too. 

Is that good?

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Received on Friday, 27 August 2010 22:25:02 UTC

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