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Support for LONGDESC

From: Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 10:46:54 -0000
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
Message-ID: <001c01c23d36$9411d480$d513268a@ukoln.ac.uk>

I'm giving a talk on web accessibility shortly.  I'd like to know the
status of mainstream browser support for LONGDESC.  I've searched the
WAI-IG list archives and used Google to search Web pages.  From my
searching my understanding is that LONGDESC is not supported by
mainstream browsers (cab on the Mac is an exception) - although if you
use XSLT you could reformulate LONGDESC to supported HTML element
(thanks to Kynn for this suggestion).

Is this currently correct?

Also what formats can the longdesc file be in?  The HTML 4 spec [1]
states that:

longdesc = uri [CT]
This attribute specifies a link to a long description of the image. This
description should supplement the short description provided using the
alt attribute. 

But doesn't say whether the file can be HTML, XHTML, plain text, etc.
(or that it shouldn't be PDF, GIF, etc.!), can contains JavaScript, etc.
Although the example give a file with a .html extension.

If use of longdesc is needed to future-proof Web resources for when
browser support is available, are their any guidelines on using


1 http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html

Brian Kelly
UK Web Focus
University of Bath 
Email: B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
Web: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
Phone: 01225 38 3943
Received on Tuesday, 6 August 2002 05:48:03 UTC

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