[html5] Banishing longdesc?
mattbonner at gmail.com
Fri Aug 13 00:20:31 PDT 2010
Are there any tools that would help web authors understand how and where to
AT-related tags/attributes such that they worked well with popular AT
seems like an accessibility-oriented tool for
http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/would be a
On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 1:30 PM, Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02 at yahoo.com>wrote:
> The recent decision to banish the longdesc attribute from HTML  spurred
> me to write this. The argument that won the day it seems was "there are no
> good examples" of longdesc in use.
> Similar arguments were made by those who opposed the American with
> Disabilities Act: no wheelchair users come into my library so why should I
> make it accessible?
> Even today authors / developers fail to code forms and data tables as they
> should be coded with proper accessibility markup. And there are countless
> such forms and tables out there. So why not banish the FORM and TABLE
> The problem is most developers / authors do not know what AT is, how AT
> works, how a blind guy navigates a table, what non-visual access is, what
> audio user interface is. So obviously you cannot expect them to write
> imaginative and helpful text alternatives. As alt is required for every img
> and there has been a lot of guidance on this subject one does come across
> pages with passable / good alt values. Unfortunately authors / developers
> are not aware on the use of longdesc: when it is needed and how to write
> one. When told to include the description for a chart using the longdesc,
> developers do not create an htm file but enclose the description within
> quotes ... like the alt value. Or they simply duplicate the alt text within
> an htm file.
> Just a few days ago I saw a page on which every image had an alt and a
> longdesc ... even image links had a longdesc. It only demonstrates that the
> author / developer does not know how to use the attribute and not that the
> attribute is flawed.
> Sometimes we see tabular content marked up with the PRE element and not the
> TABLE element. So should PRE be banned? PRE has its uses and any element
> when misused or used incorrectly creates an accessibility problem. Like the
> HTML 5 list of participants in good standing page! It uses a definition list
> to list participants. And a separate DL element for each participant. Maybe
> DL should be banned.
> On the other hand, I applaud the HTML 5 draft for saying do not use tables
> for layout and not to use empty rows / columns within data tables.
> So what is needed is more education and outreach on the proper use of
> longdesc. So do not banish it.
> Sailesh Panchang
> Accessibility Services Lead
> Centreville VA
> * 
> Help mailing list
> Help at lists.whatwg.org
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