Re: Moving longdesc forward: Recap, updates, consensus

On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 4:18 PM, John Foliot <> wrote:
> +1 again. There should be no uncertainty, no doubt. It has been argued
> that the information that @longdesc provides can often be useful for users
> other than those that are blind, and that can be a compelling argument on
> many levels. User Agents MUST provide a means of exposing *specific*
> author data that exists in the DOM - we draw the line on prescribing how,
> but insist that it be done somehow. This is an important accessibility
> feature that is required (by users and authors), not a small favor we are
> begging of the User Agents.

I'm wary of constraining the user agent conforming classes to do *anything*
with the semantics we are defining in HTML5 and in general the spec shies away
from imposing such constraints. It should be possible to define loading
behaviors, semantic interpretation, and APIs for documents without also
mandating the adoption of particular user interface goals as well.

I think UAAG 2.0, not HTML5, is the right place to specify accessibility
requirements for browsers, such as universal access to text alternatives:

Irrespective of whether we propose "SHOULD" or "MUST", I think it might
be a good idea to provide spec text concisely explain how text
alternatives, short and long, can be useful to different user groups.
(Otherwise we may end up with implementations optimized for one user
group such as users who are blind.)

If we do shift to "MUST", I think we should talk about "interactive
user agents" rather than just "user agents". For a discussion of this
distinction, see the conformance classes section of the spec:

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

Received on Friday, 6 May 2011 19:34:53 UTC