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

Re: example spec text for longdesc

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 11:32:07 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTiny76M-YCgysBen4wixR22bnEJC8ZUVFRccB4Uo@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi Ian,

>> Ian, I would really appreciate your advice on that spec text too. What
>> is technically wrong with it?
> Well, it reintroduces longdesc, a feature which is almost universally
> misused

The idea would be to improve longdesc to make it more useful.

> and will therefore do basically nothing but cause users pain,
> something which has been repeatedly explained. That's the main problem
> with it.

On February 28, 2011 WebAIM released the results of their latest
independent user survey which asked a question regarding the longdesc
attribute. The majority of respondents declared longdesc useful. The
report states:

"These responses show a strong usefulness of the longdesc attribute,
which is currently under debate for omission from HTML5. Also of note
is that 22.7% of respondents do not know the usefulness of longdesc,
suggesting a need for better education or presentation of this
functionality in screen readers."

> I didn't examine it any closer since that's pretty much a fatal
> problem with the text as it is.

How could it not be a fatal problem? Your signature tag line says that
"things that are impossible just take longer."  There must be a way to
improve longdesc. Will you think about it?


Best Regards,


Laura L. Carlson
Received on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 16:34:47 UTC

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