W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2011

Re: example spec text for longdesc

From: Matthew Turvey <mcturvey@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 17:00:51 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTin7yDdGJrF5-oVFq4C1joPrO-Ds720rW9TmXZ5J@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 26 March 2011 12:09, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
> More directly to Jonas's point above, I note that if one visits a site that
> correctly uses longdesc and right-mouse-clicks on such an image using a
> recent version of Opera one sees an option to obtain the Long Description of
> the image (see attached image).  Does this change things?
> - Sam Ruby

How does a user know they can right-click and select Long Description?
Is it acceptable to deny access to users who don't know this access
method exists? Does longdesc in this scenario meet WCAG2's guiding
principles for being Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust?

Are there any circumstances where using a normal link instead of
longdesc would not lead to an immediate, significant improvement in

There will be authors who want to use hidden links to long
descriptions. But making something hidden has a negative impact on
accessibility, because it makes it a secret, and people have to be
told about or independently discover the secret to be able to use it.

The fundamental question is whether we want to encourage authors to
use an accessibility technique that is hidden by design, by including
a specific attribute in the language for this purpose.

Or whether we want to discourage hidden accessibility (but still
optionally support it via CSS positioning off screen, hide/show
techniques etc) by making longdesc non-conformant, thereby encouraging
authors to use accessibility techniques that are perceivable and
available to all by default.

The drawback of including an attribute specifically for the purpose of
hiding accessibility is that authors will use the technique because
they think it is "for accessibility", rather than a last resort. The
best way to make something accessible is to make it obvious and
available to all, and this is what we should be encouraging authors to
do via the conformance rules in HTML5.

Received on Monday, 4 April 2011 16:57:23 UTC

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