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RE: Support for LONGDESC

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 08:33:31 -0400
To: "Brian Kelly" <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENOEMICJAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>

Netscape 6.2, Mozilla 1.0 have a form of support for LONGDESC.  Cursor over
the image, right click and select properties.  From the Properties dialogue
box, choose "Description" if it is present.  See
http://www.bytowninternet.com/examples/longdesc.html for an example.

The latest version of JAWS will also support LONGDESC by announcing the link
to the LONGDESC file.

As for guidelines, I've not come across any specificly authored guidelines,
but I recommend that developers keep the following in mind:

	- The majority of users accessing the LONGDESC file will not be interested
in graphic content on the descriptor page; keep it simple and clean - avoid
excessive navigational elements.
	- Avoid the use of Popups (this may seem self evident, but I've seen it
happen via JavaScript and the "d" LINK)
	- Provide a link back to the referring image/page
	- When authoring the descriptor page, have an associate describe in detail
what the image shows, without you looking at it. Record this.  That's your
description! <grin>

Good Luck


> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Brian Kelly
> Sent: August 6, 2002 6:47 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Cc: b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
> Subject: Support for LONGDESC
> 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
> longdesc?
> References
> 1 http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html
> ---------------------------------------
> Brian Kelly
> UK Web Focus
> University of Bath
> BA2 7AY
> Email: B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
> Web: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
> Phone: 01225 38 3943
Received on Tuesday, 6 August 2002 08:41:47 UTC

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