W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2012

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

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 17:54:56 -0400
Message-ID: <505B90B0.8060104@intertwingly.net>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Adrian Roselli <Roselli@algonquinstudios.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
On 09/20/2012 05:41 PM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> On Sep 20, 2012, at 12:56 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> On Sep 20, 2012, at 12:27 PM, Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com> 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
>> I can't find where either of those posts explains whether "top 10,000 web sites home pages" is a target market for longdesc or for long descriptions in general. Can you clarify?
> As I said (and you clipped), a relevant market for longdesc is the
> mark-up of public record documents such that they can be more accessible
> without changing their visible content.  None of them are home pages.
> That is an answer to Sam's question about messaging.  There are probably
> many others.


> Whether or not the top 10,000 web sites home pages is a target market
> for longdesc is not relevant to the definition of HTML.  The Web is
> not that shallow, and HTML is expected to handle everyone's needs.
> I don't know why it is even being considered a rational objection.

It is relevant given the details of the proposal being offered:


(Changes are marked with <ZZZ>...</ZZZ>)

> Maybe someone should just ask TimBL is he thinks HTML should be limited
> to the needs of the top 10,000 home pages?  It would save time.

That's not the right question.

If longdesc is not intended to be used on home pages, then I would have 
expected the proposal for longdesc to indicate that it would be a 
conformance error for it to be used in such places.  And such a 
requirement would likely be more general than just simply home pages.

As the people who are advocating the longdesc proposal that has been 
presented support both the rendering section that I point to above and 
strenuously object to conformance errors being produced by longdesc, I 
can only conclude that others may disagree with your assessment on 
whether longdesc is intended to meet everybody's needs.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Thursday, 20 September 2012 21:55:26 UTC

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