Re: usefulness of longdesc & digitization of books & historical works [was Re: fear of "invisible metadata"]

On 24 Jun 2007, at 21:12, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> when encountering a portrait of Lord Cornwallis, it isn't sufficient
> to simply caption the image "Portrait of Lord Cornwallis, ca. 1774"
> -- the student of the subject needs to know precisely how Lord  
> Cornwallis is portrayed -- how old was he at the time of the
> portrait?  what kind of hairstyle does he sport?  what type of
> uniform?  what do the buttons on the uniform signify?  what is his
> rank, based on the eppalettes?  what are the items that are included
> in the portrait, particularly those held by, or within reach of, the
> portrait's subject, for all such items have both symbolic and highly
> specific meanings, all of which the painter assumed would be
> understood by the viewer.

Hi Gregory,

I have known about the @longdesc for years, but have never actually  
used it... but a description like that really shows how useful it can  

It could be argued that such a description should exist on the page  
itself... but I am sure there are cases where this is not possible or  
relevant... in which case, I hope the contents of the @longdesc  
become available for all users, though the standard setup of all  
browsers (not just though extensions).

Perhaps if browsers made users aware of the @longdesc, we might see  
more of its use... perhaps like how Firefox 3 is making users aware  
of micro-formats, by visually changing the mouse cursor.


Received on Sunday, 24 June 2007 21:39:26 UTC