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Re: hypothetical question on longdesc

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2012 13:45:53 +0100
To: "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "'Leif Halvard Silli'" <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, "John Foliot" <john@foliot.ca>
Cc: "'Maciej Stachowiak'" <mjs@apple.com>, "'Paul Cotton'" <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "'HTML Accessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.wbc9qrj2wxe0ny@widsith-3.local>
On Sun, 18 Mar 2012 07:21:10 +0100, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> Sam Ruby wrote:
>> Meanwhile, we desperately need to break out of the following state:
>> 1) We need a decision *now* on longdesc
>> 2) We are still working on proposals for longdesc
>> 3) The chairs are jerks
> 1) If not *now* Sam, *when*?

Probably, I suspect, when we have rough consensus and running code.

I agree with Laura's repeated assertion that taking longdesc out and  
leaving it out as long as possible amounts to an attempt to ensure it  
fails by creating the impression that it is history. As it happens, that  
doesn't seem to have been a successful attempt, and it appears to me in a  
totally unscientific view that the functionality, and perhaps the  
attribute itself, are slowly being recognised by more people as something  
with a real value to real people.

But we the people do not agree. And however wonderful or terrible the  
chairs are, they cannot suddenly make us agree with each other - that has  
to come from us. Because as Sam has more or less said already: It seems  
the decision reached on ISSUE-30 the first time was taken hastily without  
a clear enough view of the case. This is shown by it being re-opened. Note  
that we who presented an insufficient case are to blame - the chairs and  
editor are not some kind of gods who are meant to know how everything  
should work, they rely on input and if the input is of insufficient  
quality, "garbage in...".

There has been a lot of work done constructing proposals, working out  
exactly when they work and what they are good for and what they don't do,  
and thinking hard about real world implementations. This is all important.  
There has been a lot of often very frustrating discussion between people  
who disagree on what the right outcome of the discussion is. While that  
discussion is expensive (Opera has spent probably an order of magnitude  
more time on discussion than on a couple of reasonable implementations of  
longdesc) it is also important, because running code is only one side of  
the equation.

I hope the above explains why I don't care much about the process of  
taking the decision. Even if a decision is mishandled appallingly, which I  
don't believe to be the case in this instance, it's not that hard to fix  
if we can clearly show what we should have done. The work of figuring out  
what is important to have in HTML does matter - both in terms of defining  
the functionality and getting to agreement that it is important.



Charles 'chaals' McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg kan litt norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Sunday, 18 March 2012 12:46:45 UTC

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