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

Longdesc - broader UA implementation (was: longdesc)

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 01:07:52 +0200
To: 'HTMLWG WG' <public-html@w3.org>, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Message-ID: <20110407010752189327.a5fb0a2d@xn--mlform-iua.no>
(Given Maciej's encouragement, I take liberty to move this reply to 

Laura Carlson, Tue, 5 Apr 2011 16:14:46 -0500:

> The chairs decision also pointed out that longdesc is:
> * relevant only to a fraction of images
> * use, even among those pages, is relatively limited
> * current usage often contains bogus values
> * more work is needed to make longdesc useful
> * alternatives exists (explicit links, aria-describedby, figure captions)
> * external content adds a maintenance burden (likely to get out of sync)
> [...] it seems that in the Chairs judgment, general-purpose
> attributes such as aria-describedby are preferred over specialized
> attributes unless there are extenuating circumstances.
> Let us think this through carefully and all it implies. Again, ruling
> out longdesc on other elements could be detrimental per the Chairs
> decision today. If it possible longdesc could help other elements why
> lock that door?
>> 6.[...] In discussions with the developers of NVDA, what they
>> do not want is to implement an AT only method of access, they
>> want the browsers to provide the functionality.

As a (sighted) user, I am not only interested in @longdesc, I am also 
interested in seeing implementations of @cite.  And, in the regard, 
instead of (or in addition to) broadening @longdesc to new elements, 
there is the option of letting users access both @cite and @longdesc 
the same way. Given that @cite is part of HTML5, I would hope that big 
browser vendors (with the exception of Henri [0]) already *are* also 
interesting in implementing @cite support? 

iCab does that. [1][2]

I say this because, instead of - or in addition to - pondering whether 
@longdesc can be generalized and be useful to more elements, there is 
also the option of getting @cite and @longdesc under the same umbrella, 
the same way that HTML5 already handles <a> and <area> (image maps) - 
and a few other interactive elements too - under the same umbrella.

The iCab implementation only affects the mouse mounter and the context 
menu, and as such does not affect the appearance of the Web page.

PS: The TellMeMore extension is probably great (didn't work on my Mac, 
though). But I can say that as a user of a browser which have a large 
selection of toolbar buttons, including those that get activated 
depending on the page's content, my main focus tends to be on the page 
itself rather than on the toolbar. And hence, prefer something that is 
visible or interactively visible, inside the page itself.

[0] http://www.w3.org/mid/1301477818.2514.203.camel@shuttle
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 6 April 2011 23:08:23 UTC

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