[Bug 10019] New: Native user agent support for exposing longdesc to all users


           Summary: Native user agent support for exposing longdesc to all
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: PC
               URL: http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/embedded-content-1.html#t
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Keywords: a11y, a11y_text-alt
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML Canvas 2D Context (editor: Ian Hickson)
        AssignedTo: ian@hixie.ch
        ReportedBy: laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Please state that user agents can/should possess the option to reveal the
presence of longdesc to all users.

A longdesc provides for rich, expressive documentation of a visual image. It is
used when alt is insufficient to embody the visual qualities of an image. The
aim is to use any length of description necessary to impart the details of the
graphic. If the information contained in an image is important to the meaning
(i.e. some important content would be lost to the visually impaired or blind if
the image was removed), longdesc should be used. A programmatically-determined 
longdesc serves a very specific and most critical use for blind and non-visual

Sometimes this content won't fit on the same page or is redundant for sighted
users. For the majority of sighted users a longdesc is not needed. A sighted
person can see what is being described. So they typically wouldn't need an
explanation. Providing it visually would be extra verbiage that most
authors/designers would be reluctant to include visually on a page because of
redundancy and aesthetics.

However, providing the ability to optionally expose longdesc to all users would
have benefits. 


It would: 
* Allow longdesc to keep its purpose in aiding those with disabilities.
* Provide a practical method for developers who want a tool to check longdesc
and keep it up to date.
* Allow everyone access to longdesc content aiding universal design. 


User agents could make the longdesc link visible and a functional hyperlink on
demand (not by default) by providing a preference or switch in the browser or
user agent. 

Maybe something like Patrick Lauke's Firefox longdesc extension, which adds a
"view long description" to the image context menu. 

Other strategies to support longdesc natively in a User Agent, and allow the
user a set of exposure options also exist as Gregory J. Rosmaita has pointed

The key is that the UA should support LONGDESC natively, and allow the user a
set of choices about exposing LONGDESC:

* expose in new browser instance
* expose in new browser tab
* expose inline (insert content as object)
* expose inline through the use of IFrame
* expose the contents of the longdesc document in a side-bar, aligned with the
image it describes 


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Received on Saturday, 26 June 2010 09:35:15 UTC