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RE: Call for Review: HTML5 Image Description Extension (longdesc) Last Call

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 14:15:54 -0700
To: "'Doug Schepers'" <schepers@w3.org>
Cc: "'James Craig'" <jcraig@apple.com>, "'Charles McCathie Nevile'" <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "'Jeanne Spellman'" <jeanne@w3.org>, "'Jan Richards'" <jrichards@ocadu.ca>
Message-ID: <007501ce99fc$a1567810$e4036830$@ca>
Doug Schepers wrote:
> Hi, folks–
> (Splitting into threads)
> I've been thinking for a while that HTML should formally introduce
> markup for footnotes, which are used not only in ebooks, but on many
> web
> pages. Wikipedia uses them extensively, for example, and they have had
> to develop their own behavior for them.

Hey Doug,

I think you are correct here. I know that in our shop, we too had to come up with some footnote behaviors for many of our pages, where the inclusion of the footnote has some fairly strict requirements attached to it. I think that <footnote> as an element would likely have some traction, although it would have to be fairly well spec'ed out in terms of how user-agents should handle the semantic.

> As a side note, I actually quite like the way Wikipedia handles them...
> they are rendered at the bottom of the screen, with a many-to-one link
> in the article text, and the footnote marker (e.g., the superscript
> number at the point of reference) displays the footnote text as a
> tooltip when you hover over it.

That one is tricky... what if you cannot use a mouse? How does that work on mobile? "Tooltips" are generally problematic, but yes, overall having a native <footnote> behavior would be a good thing.

> Academic or scientific papers also use
> footnote. How they are styled and positioned should be handled by CSS,
> but footnotes (and endnotes) are more than simple generic links.
> That's off the main topic, but if HTML were to add footnotes (noting
> that AFAIK this is not yet on the HTML WG's radar), it might have
> bearing on how @longdesc is handled.

Perhaps yes, perhaps no. A "footnote" is not the same thing as an extended longer description of a complex image. In fact, I think that <footnote> (or would you rather see @footnote) is closer to <cite> (@cite) in function and semantic relevance. 

(And I know you deliberately split this thread, but this also speaks to where/why epub:type="footnote" would often be an inappropriate alternative to @longdesc - they do 2 very different things and have 2 very different semantics)


Received on Thursday, 15 August 2013 21:16:26 UTC

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