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Re: Where to put <desc> tags

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 2010 20:12:16 -0400
Message-ID: <4CAA6D60.9010203@w3.org>
To: ddailey <ddailey@zoominternet.net>
CC: www-svg@w3.org
Hi, David-

We took pains to include a better definition and guidelines for <title> 
and <desc> in SVG Tiny 1.2 [1].  Please take a look there, and let me 
know if that answers your questions.  The general answer is, <title> and 
<desc> should be a child of the "object" (element) that is being 
described; sometimes that object may be a group which contains several 
other elements, all described by the group's <title> and <desc>.

Google recently announced (as you know) that they are now indexing SVGs, 
but I doubt they will return results at a level more discrete than the 
document (e.g. for the image search "red circle", they won't return an 
image consisting of just a red circle extracted from an SVG file with 
many other elements, just because that red circle had an appropriate 
child title/desc... though that would be interesting!).  I imagine Bing 
and other search engines would do the same.

FYI, the SVG accessibility guidelines you cite haven't been updated in 
quite some time, though we have plans to work on a new, more rigorous 
SVG accessibility spec soon.  AT support for SVG is still a bit sketchy, 
and we hope that this new document will provide clearer implementation 
guidelines, as well; in general, AT should read any text in the 
document, including that contained in <text>,<title>, and <desc> 
elements, in document order (this is how FireVox treats it).

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/SVGTiny12/struct.html#TitleAndDescriptionElements

-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG and WebApps WGs

ddailey wrote (on 10/4/10 7:55 PM):
> In what appear to be the two main documents from W3C on accessibility in
> SVG [1,2], there seem to be slightly unclear advice in where to put
> <desc> tags.
> In some of the examples, the <desc> precedes the group or object it is
> meant to describe:
> <desc>this is a red rectangle meant to portray a button</desc>
> <rect fill="red" />
> In others, it is embedded as a child of the object it describes:
> <rect fill="red" >
> <desc>this is a red rectangle meant to portray a button</desc>
> </rect>
> The latter would seem to be a better approach since the <desc> is rather
> yoked to the thing it describes, but how are search engines and screen
> readers likely to deal with it?
> Is there another place where this is discussed, or am I missing
> something in my reading of these? What is the best advice for authors?
> thanks
> David
> [1] (dated 2000) http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG-access/
> {2] (dated 2008)
> http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/access.html#SVGAccessibilityGuidelines
Received on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 00:12:21 UTC

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