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RE: Moving longdesc forward: Recap, updates, consensus

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Fri, 6 May 2011 11:11:31 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Gregory J. Rosmaita'" <oedipus@hicom.net>, "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "'Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis'" <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>, "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <chaals@opera.com>
Cc: "'HTML Accessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <008f01cc0c19$06ab5830$14020890$@edu>
Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> >
> > That section is based on Gregory's words. Gregory, are you okay with
> > dropping the follwing section?
> >
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc#Hidden_M
> eta-data_Fallacy
> no, i am NOT ok with dropping the Hidden Metadata Fallacy -- this is
> a fundamental philosophical/logical principle

+1 to Gregory's opposition.

The "Hidden Metadata" argument has been continually asserted by those who 
are opposed to reinstating @longdesc as a flaw with the attribute. It isn't, 
and we need to ensure we say so clearly and forcefully.

We have a number of editing tools that expose the functionality/ability of 
associating a longdesc html file or ID fragment to an image both at original 
authoring time, as well as at editing (change) time. We have a number of 
user agents (both visually based and screen readers) that expose the 
presence of @longdesc to the end user, and accessing the value of that data 
is as fundamental as it gets on the web: follow the link.

Using the Hidden Metadata argument, it can be argued that microdata and RDFa 
data is "hidden", as it is not usually visually apparent on the screen to 
sighted users. With the recent evolution of touch-screen devices (and Steve 
Faulkner's recent enquiries to browser vendors 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011May/0072.html) it could 
also be argued that the value of @title is quickly becoming "hidden" 
metadata, as no touch-screen device that I am aware of today expose @title 
values to *any* of their users: using the "Hidden Metadata argument" perhaps 
we should drop @title from the spec too?

I agree with Gregory that we should not drop this section, although I 
reiterate my suggestion that it be noted at a high level in the Change 
Proposal and that the actual body of text be moved to a reference page and 
linked from the CP, in the interest of brevity and succinctness in the final 

Received on Friday, 6 May 2011 18:12:00 UTC

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