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Moving longdesc forward: Recap, updates, consensus

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 5 May 2011 12:09:33 -0500
Message-ID: <BANLkTikUGPwna0U2mEMDFun+cfD9_KQZTQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>, Geoff Freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>, Steve Faulkner <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>
Hello Ben, Leif, Geoff, Rich, Chaals, Steve, and Everyone,

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the "Moving longdesc
forward" thread [1].

For reference the latest longdesc drafts that we have been working on
are 10.6.1 User Agent rendering and  4.8.1 The img element.

10.6.1 USER AGENT RENDERING (informative)

I have updated the 10.6.1 User Agent rendering draft trying to
incorporate Chaals suggestion to add info on real world
implementations and Leif's suggestion to add info on iCab's
contextual-menu cursor. Is it okay?

Rich, as Ben pointed out the 10.6.1 rendering section of the spec is
informative not normative. But the text in 4.8.1 is normative. 4.8.1
reads: "User agents should allow users to access long text
alternatives." Can you live with that?

Rich, I had added text for when the long description dialog is closed
per your suggestion in 10.6.1. It read:
<p class="expectation" id="returnpoint"><ins>When a long description
dialog is closed a user agent is expected to return the user's point
of regard to the element within the document where the user left
Then I read Ben's reply to you:
Rich, If you want something added like this do you think you can work
with Ben to take his comments into consideration and suggest text that
 you think we all can live with? We would probably need an example to
fit with the rest of the page too. Thanks.

4.8.1 THE IMG ELEMENT (normative)

The main discussion on the 4.8.1 draft in the "Moving longdesc
forward" thread seems to be about using longdesc to point to other
formats besides HTML. I am wondering two things:

Number one:

* If we file a bug as Ben proposed on 4.12 Links [2] like...

"Note: User agents may not be able to open resources of a different
format to the current document, or may have to resort to a plugin, so
linking to resources in the same format are to be preferred. Links to
resources in other formats are best described as such."

* Is there anyone who can not live with the text at:

Number two:

If there are other aspects of improving longdesc, can they/should they
wait until after longdesc is reinstated into HTML and be pursued as


No one has offered concrete suggestions to improve the change proposal
in the "Moving longdesc forward" thread. Does anyone have any?

I am particularly wondering about the Change Proposal's Implementation
section [3]. I think we have good evidence in that section but  how
can it be presented to make a more compelling case? For instance,
would it be good to add a link to the User Agent longdesc rendering
info [4] or not? It is all ready linked in the details section. So I
am not sure.  Maybe reorganizing it would help. I don't know. Anyway,
does anyone have concrete suggestions to improve that section?

Steve, some time ago I think you mentioned that the proposal was too
long. We could eliminate the reference section and link to that
material on the longdesc research page. That might help. What do you
think? Do you or  anyone have concrete suggestions to make the
proposal better?

Thanks everyone.

Best Regards,

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2011May/thread.html#msg32
[2] http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/links.html#links
[3] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc#Implementation
[4] http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/ld-rendering.html

Laura L. Carlson
Received on Thursday, 5 May 2011 17:10:04 UTC

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