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Re: Issue 30 (Was: RE: Getting HTML5 to Recommendation in 2014)

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 15:56:32 -0400
Message-ID: <505B74F0.4070705@intertwingly.net>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
CC: Adrian Roselli <Roselli@algonquinstudios.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
On 09/20/2012 03:27 PM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> On Sep 20, 2012, at 11:37 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> In fact, there is also a point that I would like clarification on.  I would like to know if longdesc is only ever intended to be used in controlled educational environments with significant copyright restrictions and for that usage universal adoption by mainstream browsers is not a requirement?
>> Or is there a universal need for "long textual descriptions" that is not currently being met?  If so, what changes are required in order to get browser vendors to sign on?
>> Key to this is the following data:
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2012Sep/0295.html
>> Possible answers include that usage on "top 10,000 web sites home pages" is not a market that longdesc intends to serve, in which case that data is irrelevant except to point out that the messaging on longdesc needs to be updated to make it clear what the target market of this attribute indeed is.
>> Another possible answer is that this is indeed a market that long descriptions (by whatever the attribute is named) is a requirement for.  In which case, we need to take this data very seriously first the TF and ultimately the HTML WG as a whole will need to determine what corrective course corrections is needed.
> I believe those answers have already been given, many times over the years.
> Here are just two, from me, though I am nowhere near as familiar with this
> stuff as the a11y folks.
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Aug/0131.html
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0136.html
> The latter is about summary, but it is the same market as longdesc:
> enhancing the public record so that it better fits the needs of those
> with assistive technologies, without changing the visual representation
> for those who don't use AT.

There is no question that answers have been given in the past, or that 
individuals have been consistent with their answers for that matter.  My 
question is whether we can come to consensus on what the answers would be.

I'll add that there does seem to be clear consensus on the need for long 
textual descriptions, but not as to whether the existing attribute meets 
that need.

Drilling down on the data that Steve provided, to date I am not aware of 
anybody who has identified a single correct usage of longdesc on any of 
those pages.  Not a one.

I've seen differing responses to that.  Either way, it requires some 
course correction.  Either in messaging, advice, or a substantive change 
to the specification.

> ....Roy

- Sam Ruby
Received on Thursday, 20 September 2012 19:57:00 UTC

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