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Re: D-link and LONGDESC (GL type stuff)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 14:27:10 +1000 (EST)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
cc: WAI <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980425140805.8640D-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Kynn made lots of good points, but the size of the message is getting 
unmanageable for me so I will try and summarise.

D-links are good when preaching to the choir, but no good unless the 
masses use them:
Very true. Many members of the W3c are in a position to (and as I 
understand it are contractually bound to) preach to very large audiences 
about w3c recommendations.

Little D's all over pages look terrible, and won't be acceptable to many 
More to the point, they won't be acceptable to the designer's customers. 
While preaching the law on accessibility may help, it is hardly a 
pleasant way to have to procedd.
The use of another image in place of the D's as I have discussed, can 
alleviate many of these problems. I have started to clean up my own 
legacy site, and there aare examples of how D-links could be used on 
http://www.srl.rmit.edu.au/charles/ and on the link about being a 
husband. I think that the image used as a link to the description might 
be a big red dot - it is supposed to be a single white pixel, but I am 
using a text-only link, so couldn't hunt around for one and haven't made 
it yet. (I'll do that on monday)

D-links don't need to be used just for descriptive text, and broadening 
their use may make it easier to convince people to use them:
Yes Yes Yes yes YES. Same goes for most of what we do - if it is possible 
to avoid the "ruining it for 98% to fix it for 2%" argument, and usually 
that argument is based on over-narrow assumptions, so much the better.

It is a 2-way street - designers and browser manufacturers both have to 
come to the party:
As I understood it, joining w3c meant signing a legal contract agreeing 
to do just that. But in general, yes. D-link is an example of a solution 
produced by page-authors which did not require any action on behalf of 
browser manufacturers. LONGDESC is the same solution, but requires the 
browser manufacturers to work out the implementation.

LONGDESC should be a right-click type option:
Sounds eminently sensible to me. For a browser like Lynx, my suggestion 
is to add a 'D-link' link after any object which has a LONGDESC - 
provides consistency with D-linked sites currently in use. As Kynn 
pointed out, the difficulty in the case is that many images are links 
already. A visual solution will a) not solve the problem for unsighted 
users and b) put designers offside. Neither of these are likely to be a 
problem for browsers like Lynx which are not used by most designers 
except as a testbed for accessibility requirements.

Charles McCathieNevile
Received on Saturday, 25 April 1998 00:46:30 UTC

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