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Re: FW: [NVDA] #809: Support for longdesc in web browsers

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2012 09:50:09 +0000
Message-ID: <CA+ri+V=upU49PeqOZqEGghguhM0_cNQn+uC6fBXEHs0dLxztjw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Cc: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi All,

(unsure about whether chair hat should be on or off so will take it off)

Longdesc is being developed as an extension spec via the accessibility

I expect another feature(s) will be developed as extension spec(s) for the
provision of long descriptions for content other than images, where data
and use cases support the development of such a feature.

I encourage interested parties to develop the extension specs, with the aid
of the a11y taskforce if needed/desired/appropriate.

(chair hat definitely off a placed out of sight)

On longdesc:

While the news that NVDA has implemented support for the feature is
positive news, For me in my professional role, advising clients on making
web sites and applications accessible, it is not a feature that I would
recommend for use without the provision of a fallback method to provide
access to the resource that longdesc exposes. This is a pragmatic stance
based on the current implementations of longdesc, my stance may change
dependent on the future implementation in user agents.


On 9 November 2012 07:09, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 5:35 PM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:
>> Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>> >
>> <snip>
>> >
>> > The discussion about adding the feature to HTML5 will need
>> > to be had around the extension spec so I don't want to go
>> > into this.
>> <snip>
>> > That last argument is the one that browsers don't buy into:
>> > screen reader support for this feature makes a lot of sense.
>> > But browser support less so, because if the author wants users
>> > to be aware of a document that has a long description, they will
>> > author that into the visible part of their Web page. If they
>> > don't they won't author it in. So why should browsers overrule
>> > a Web developer's intention? It goes against what browsers do
>> > and it seems to me that spending more time on pushing such
>> > functionality is futile. Let's solve the real problem which is
>> > accessibility.
>> Hi Silvia,
>> I will politely (but firmly) point out that accessibility != screen
>> readers
>> alone, and yet this continually seems to be a point of misunderstanding in
>> the larger development community. Longer textual descriptions can be of
>> benefit to numerous other users beyond those who cannot see a complex
>> graphic image, including low-vision users (who may prefer a text
>> description
>> over scrolling up and down as well as left and right to try and make sense
>> of a large graphic), users with cognitive disabilities (users with
>> learning/comprehension issues), and when done right can also be useful for
>> SEO considerations.
> I make no such assumption. But I make the assumption that any information
> provided to a screenreader is likely to target more than blind users,
> including such users as you point out and that therefore there are
> technologies that make use of the same APIs and information that
> screenreaders make use of.
>> You also make the claim that web developers will assume that these
>> descriptions are for non-sighted users only,
> Again, I make no such claim. My claim is that where Web developers see
> such descriptions being useful to more than accessibility users, they will
> make it visible on the site. In fact, I'd like to encourage them to do so.
> The thing is: in both cases it is important that accessibility users are
> able to discover the availability of that data and that's what the
> attribute is for.
>> As for "the real problem" today, the intent of Chaals' draft at this time
>> is
>> to capture, confirm and codify what we have on the ground today with
>> regard
>> to support for @longdesc, without imposing any further requirements on the
>> browsers.
> Again: I have no issue with the extension spec - it is what it is and it
> will need to stand the REC test like any other extension spec.
> My comment was much more strategically about what we can achieve in the
> next versions of HTML. Introducing new attributes and getting browser
> support for them can happen within a short time (sometimes withing months
> if everyone is on board) despite what you seem to think. I would much
> prefer we get a solution for long descriptions that is not bound to the
> image element alone and that solves a wider range of accessibility issues.
> Stating that it will take too long just delays that process more. Getting
> on with it and doing it is what makes a change.
> Best Regards,
> Silvia.
Received on Friday, 9 November 2012 09:51:18 UTC

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