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RE: Support for LONGDESC

From: Jukka Korpela <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 10:15:13 +0300
Message-ID: <621574AE86FAD3118D1D0000E22138A95BDDC1@TIEKE1>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk

Kynn Bartlett wrote:

> You know, even though there's limited longdesc support available
> now in a few browsers, it would really make sense for us to look at
> what it would take to begin to abandon the longdesc attribute and
> start using appropriate XLink constructions instead.

There's yet another approach, which has all the imaginable benefits but,
alas, the undeniable drawback that it is low-tech:

Include a textual link that refers to the long description.

It might require some imagination to combine it smoothly with the general
flow of the content, but there's always the option of doing something useful
even if the method is somewhat naivistic, like just putting "(There's a <a
href="foo.html">description of the graph</a> available.)" before or after or
alongside with the image. Maybe it would be OK to make the _caption_ of an
image such a link, when there is a text that how somehow position so that it
looks like a caption.

Anyway, a link to a description can be useful to anyone, including people
who can see the image but don't quite understand what's in it. So I wouldn't
use any methods to try to make the link unnoticeable in screen presentation.
But one might use CSS to suggest that it be suppressed upon printing, if the
link text itself is not useful on paper.

Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
Phone: +358 9 4763 0397 Fax: +358 9 4763 0399 
Received on Thursday, 8 August 2002 03:11:16 UTC

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