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Re: Desc and Alt

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 13:56:17 +1000 (AEST)
To: WAI HC Working Group <w3c-wai-hc@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.971010133929.22953A-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Al has made a good point, but I would maintain that it can be accommodated
without unduly restricting the user's freedom to choose the means by which
he or she wishes the long description to be rendered. The navigational
aspects of LONGDESC should be handled exclusively by the user agent. For
example, if LONGDESC is treated as a link, the user agent should prompt
the user to press a particular key in order to return to the underlying
HTML document. This should not be the responsibility of the author of the
long description. If a long description contains a title followed by the
text of the description, then it can just as easily be read as part of the
document or accessed via a link, provided in the former case that the user
agent signals the start and end of the dLONGDESC resource, for instance
with an audio cue.

Of course, long descriptions should be indicated in a way that
distinguishes them from ordinary links; but the details should be left to
the discretion of the user agent developer. All that the author needs to
provide is an HTML document containing a title (which is obligatory in any
event) and a text which, if read as part of the principal document at the
point where the image appears, would convey the same content as the image
itself, bearing in mind the purpose of the graphical resource and the
context of the principal document.
For image maps, the only assumption that need be made is that the ALT text
associated with each active region can be conveniently read by the user,
before or after reading the long description.
Received on Thursday, 9 October 1997 23:56:40 UTC

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