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Re: Clarification of rational for deprecation of @longdesc and @summary

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 08:31:24 -0600
To: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, public-html-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF825E2E95.17A8E0AF-ON862573F3.004F4DD1-862573F3.004FC755@us.ibm.com>

Hi Josh,

The author can set the display properties to none using CSS. We can leave
it up to the author to decide. An assistive technology can have access to
the description text (what the describedby attributed references) through
the platform accessibility apis (like IAccessible2).

You could use script to hide and show the content. This is an authoring


Rich Schwerdtfeger
Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist
Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review  Board
blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/schwer

             Joshue O Connor                                               
             fit.ie>                                                    To 
             02/18/2008 07:52          Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS, Ian 
             AM                        Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG     
             Please respond to                                          cc 
                   it.ie                                           Subject 
                                       Re: Clarification of rational for   
                                       deprecation of @longdesc and        

Richard Schwerdtfeger wrote:
> If wai-aria goes in we have an aria-describedby property which can
> reference an area of the document allowing for the prose to be associated
> with the image. longdesc is almost never used as people want to use the
> same prose in the original document.

While using the described by property to do just as you outline sounds
great, use of @longdesc is slightly different is it not? As you know
often the @longdesc text is hidden from sighted users and may not be a
part of the main page content. The @longdesc contents are then used to
give more detailed and in depth descriptive prose etc. So this
supplements the image and may not always be found in the main part of
the text.

While using the described by property to do this may in some cases be
Ok, I think a more elegant implementation of @longdesc may suffice. This
would not be the case if the requirements for this or another property
were expanded. I think the problem with @longdesc is how it is currently
implemented, not really what it was flawed in its conception or because
it  is failing to be useful.

If the contents of @longdesc could therefore be buffered or pre-loaded
and then called by a user when they wish by some keystroke in their AT,
 and announced, without having to go to a new page and leave the current
page etc that would be great.

Anyway this is an interesting issue that should maybe be added to the
issue tracker.



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Received on Monday, 18 February 2008 14:32:14 UTC

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