Re: [whatwg] several messages about the HTML syntax

Maurice 2008-04-28 04.10:
> I think longdesc should be expanded to all attributes. 

Did you mean to say that @longdesc should be expanded to all elements? 
Or to all <a href> elements? (In the code examples you only added it to 
the <a href> element.)

> It will be used as a native (no javascript needed) way of making more 
> useful tooltips.
> It's value can either be a full url or the id of an element on the 
> current page or the id of an element on another page (but this would 
> require loading a whole other file in the background just to get a 
> small portion of it). [...]
> <a href="delete.php?id=443" title="Delete this record and all 
> associated media" longdesc="#tooltip_delete">Delete</a> [...]

What you have identified here, is a situation where also sighted users 
could benefit from a long description before taking action to activate a 
link.  And by having @longdesc on a <a href> the usecase als becomes 
identical to the usecase HTML 4 gives for requiring that the @longdesc 
URL and the <a href> URL must be accessible in two different ways. (So 
that the user can choose to read the long description before following 
the link.)

Having @longdesc on the <a> element should increase the use of @longdesc 
greatly, and this would be beneficial in itself. Because, the problem 
with @longdesc today, is that too few, including users, know that it 
exist and how to use it. The problem of how to solve the hiding of the 
long description - in the file itself or in an external file - is also 
the same. Solving that problem will also benefit both the <img> usecase 
and the <a> usecase.

I have been fiddeling with extending the use of @longdesc as well, in 
connection with cross-referencing. Before the auto cross-reference 
feature was deleted, I began an article, where I argue for including 
@longdesc in elements of the cross-reference feature, so that one could 
point to <dfn> elements on other pages.


I also made an example of how a long description can be kept in the same 
page, while at the same time being hidden for those who don't care/need 
it, yet still be available via doubleclick - for any JavScript 
supporting browser:


Regarding cross-refs again, taking your idea further, I could imagine <a 
longdesc> without href, instead of adding the @longdesc directly to the 
(former) auto cross-reference elements. The default style for <a> with 
@longdesc but without @href could be different from <a href> etc. That 
way one could easily use @longesc for cross-references without getting 
default blue links etc (as Nicholas Shanks mentioned [1]), in addition 
to the benefit of being able to show the context defining a term as a 

leif halvard silli

Received on Monday, 28 April 2008 07:46:57 UTC