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Re: disposition of ISSUE 30 cited in bug 10967 insufficient

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 21:54:59 +0000
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: public-html-a11y@w3.org, Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com, janina@rednote.net, mike@w3.org, mjs@apple.com
Message-Id: <20101130212030.M30297@hicom.net>
aloha, sam!

i do NOT want to open a new bug -- there are already several 
related bugs but none of them really addresses the issue:
the failure of the HTML WG chairs to provide an alternate or
improved mechanism for providing a long description -- i have
drafted requirements for verbose descriptors which i have not
only logged as a bug, but which i have submitted to the PFWG
and the HTML A11y TF as a set of requirements which MUST be 
fulfilled in order that ISSUE 30 is adequately addressed --
simply stating that longdesc is obsolete is NOT a solution

an attempt to bridge this gap has been presented to the WG as 
both a bug:


as i indicated, though, this is a placeholder bug intended to fill 
the hole in HTML5 left by the chairs' decision on ISSUE 30 -- in 
particular, the chairs' failure to identify an equal or enhanced 
mechanism for providing a verbose descriptor -- a full exploration 
of the issue and its potential solutions, plus use cases, research 
etc. (performed by both laura and myself) can be found at:


it is this document which seeks to redress the gaping hole in HTML
that the chairs' decision on ISSUE 30 failed to address -- if not
LONGDESC, then what?  the functionality is needed; research has been
performed and URIs collected; LONGDESC will continue to be supported
by HTML4-compatible browsers, but it either needs to be re-engineered
so that it can reference internal as well as external descriptions OR
it needs to be restored for external descriptions and a new attribute,
a native @describedby, needs to be added to provide internal descriptions
through the use of IDREFs (a space separated list of IDs which can be
concatenated by an assistive technology into a cohesive long description
as well as providing a means for applying style to the long description
to visually bind it to the image being described for those -- such as
those with some types of cognitive disabilities or those with an 
extremely limited viewport -- who NEED a verbose description to guide
them through the image

what i AM asking for is an end to the chairs stating that issue 30
has been resolved no matter how many times the chairs repeat that it
is resolved -- as long as there is no replacement or enhancement for 
the LONGDESC mechanism, ISSUE 30 has NOT been resolved

or, is it the chairs' position that HTML5 does not need a verbose
description mechanism?  that is the message i keep hearing when 
i hear that ISSUE 30 has been closed by the chairs, full stop

LONGDESC was SPECIFICALLY added to HTML4 to increase the web's 
accessibility -- it was irresponsible of the chairs to remove 
longdesc WITHOUT providing a means or at least pointing the way 
forward to an enhanced verbose descriptor mechanism, as several 
members of the HTML WG have done -- ISSUE 30's resolution SHOULD
have been that LONGDESC's removal is conditional and should only 
be removed IF a superior or equivalent mechanism is agreed upon...

an attempt to resolve the lack of a verbose descriptor mechanism in 
HTML5 in an attribute agnostic manner of is what is located at:


and which was filed as bug 10853


in closing, i would like to point out that i am not the only member
of the HTML A11y TF or the HTML WG who has pointed out the fallicy
of considering ISSUE 30 closed simply through the removal of LONGDESC, 
without the chairs stating that a verbose description mechanism is 
needed...  moreover, attempts to resolve the hole left in HTML5 by the 
chairs decision in ISSUE 30 have been given extremely short shrift by the 
chairs, who constantly fall back on their decision in ISSUE 30 without 
actually addressing the underlying issue: how to natively provide verbose 
descriptions for images by reference to structured content in an 
external document AND by reference to structured content that appears
in the same document as the image, with the understanding that the 
description may be comprised of several spans of structured text that
are not contiguous in the document (hence the need for internal 
references by a white-space separated list of IDs)

therefore, i would ask the chairs to re-examine ISSUE 30 in light
of the information contained in:




because deprecating LONGDESC without providing the means for a verbose
as necessary description mechanism which does not force a visual 
encumbrance on the document, but which can be exposed simultaneously
with the image it describes, solves nothing...

ABSURDITY, n.  A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with
one's own opinion.      -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devils' Dictionary
Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net AND unagi69@concentric.net
         Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
UBATS: United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org

---------- Original Message -----------
From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
Cc: public-html-a11y@w3.org, Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com, 
janina@rednote.net, mike@w3.org, mjs@apple.com
Sent: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 15:56:06 -0500
Subject: Re: disposition of ISSUE 30 cited in bug 10967 insufficient

> On 11/30/2010 03:36 PM, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> > aloha, paul!
> >
> > i'm emailing this rather than adding to the specific bug you commented
> > upon because the comment contained in the forwarded bug report below 
to be
> > extremely misleading, for in making longdesc obsolete, the chairs
> > left HTML5 without a verbose description mechanism, which does NOT
> > address the underlying problem -- that HTML5 lacks a native means of
> > providing verbose descriptors and that before a feature which was
> > added to HTML4 expressly to enhance the accessibility of the web, 
> > is an issue FAR larger than any single bug, and an issue which MUST be
> > redressed before HTML5 can advance...
> Opening new bugs that cover the same territory is not the path 
> forward.   In the decision for issue-30[1] is the following text:
> Revisiting this Issue
> This issue can be reopened if new information come up. Examples 
> of possible relevant new information include:
>      * use cases that specifically require longdesc,
>      * evidence that correct usage is growing rapidly and that that
>        growth is expected to continue, or
>      * widespread interoperable implementation.
> I believe that Laura is collecting this information.  The advice 
> that both I and Maciej gave in September on this topic is still 
> relevant today:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2010Sep/0495.html
> - Sam Ruby
> [1] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Aug/att-
> 0112/issue-30-decision.html
> > in commenting on bug 10967, paul wrote, on behalf of the HTML WG 
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded Message -----------
> > From: bugzilla@jessica.w3.org
> > To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
> > Sent: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 20:05:59 +0000
> > Subject: [Bug 10967] Add @desclink, a description link attr. for any
> > embedded  element + figure
> >
> > http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10967
> >
> > Paul Cotton<Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>  changed:
> >
> >             What    |Removed                     |Added
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >             Keywords|                            |WGDecision
> >               Status|NEW                         |RESOLVED
> >           Resolution|                            |WONTFIX
> >
> > --- Comment #8 from Paul Cotton<Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>  2010-11-30
> > 20:05:58 UTC ---
> > This bug is directly related to Issue-30:
> > http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/30
> >
> > The HTML WG co-chairs believe that this bug has been addressed by the 
> > decision on ISSUE-30.
> >
> > /paulc
> > on behalf of the HTML WG co-chairs
> >
> > this is factually incorrect -- yes, the chairs decided not to use
> > longdesc as a verbose descriptor for HTML5, but the chairs did NOT
> > suggest a substitute or improved mechanism for providing a verbose
> > descriptor mechanism for HTML5
> >
> > if QUOTE The HTML WG co-chairs believe that this bug has been 
> > by the WG's decision on ISSUE-30. UNQUOTE then they are sadly 
> > as there still exists a gaping hole in HTML5 that was plugged by
> > LONGDESC in HTML4 -- requirements for a verbose descriptor mechanism 
> > HTML5 has been logged as a bug and has been identified by the HTML
> > A11y TF bug-triage team as a priority, for in their disposition of
> > ISSUE 30, the HTML WG chairs failed to address the missing 
> > in HTML5 due to the removal of LONGDESC
> >
> > http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10853
> >
> > a fuller exploration of the issue and its potential solutions, plus
> > use cases, research etc. can be found at:
> >
> > http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Verbose_desc_reqs
> >
> > from which bug 10853 was excerpted
> >
> > the failure of the HTML WG chairs to suggest or solicit a replacement
> > for LONGDESC has already been the foundation of at least 2 notices of
> > formal objections, and is a MAJOR issue blocking HTML5's progress to
> > Last Call -- could the chairs PLEASE stop simply citing their
> > decision on ISSUE 30 as "the final word", since it clearly is not
> > the final word on the issue of providing verbose descriptor since
> > such a mechanism is no longer part of HTML5 as per the chairs'
> > decision on ISSUE 30
> >
> > thank you, gregory.
> > --------------------------------------------------------------
> > You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of
> > focus.                                           -- Mark Twain
> > --------------------------------------------------------------
> > Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
> >     Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
> >            Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus
> > --------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
------- End of Original Message -------
Received on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 21:56:14 UTC

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