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Clarification of rational for deprecation of @longdesc and @summary

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2008 17:24:35 +0000
Message-ID: <47A89BD3.6040904@cfit.ie>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Hi Ian,

I saw this post on the public HTML list where Susan Jolly was making a
comment about support for Braille output devices. [1]

I am wondering if you could expand a little on your response.

> I also think longdesc="" 
> and summary="" have thought us that placing attributes for specific 
> disabilities into the language itself will result in overwhelming abuse to 
> the point where the target audience of those features actually have to 
> turn them off.

I guess you are referring to using @summary for black hat SEO, but even
so, is this a solid enough reason to drop it from the HTML 5 spec?
With respect, I don't see how it follows or understand the rational for
removing an attribute like @summary that has such a positive dimension
because it has potential for abuse. So can you please clarify your
response to Susan and clarify if this is at the core of the rational for
dropping @summary?

I am in truth, disappointed to see the @summary status in the HTML 5
spec. FWIW @summary is a very, very practical and useful attribute for
screen reader users that I think should certainly continue to exist in
the HTML 5 spec. So I would be grateful if you would explain your
reasoning. As it stands, another way of looking at the spec with this
logic is to say, 'because bad people abuse this tool that is useful for
people with disabilities, we will remove the tool', but who will this
effect?  The blackhat SEO jockeys? No, it will effect people with
disabilities. The SEO jockeys will just find new ways to do the same
thing. Surely even new and hitherto undreamed of attributes and elements
are potentially as susceptible to misuse - but is this a solid reason
for not developing them?



Received on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 17:25:36 UTC

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