[whatwg] <details> for long description of image/ video etc

Bruce Lawson brucel at opera.com
Mon Apr 4 00:38:06 PDT 2011

On Sat, 02 Apr 2011 18:40:30 +0100, John Foliot <foliot at wats.ca> wrote:

  One of the largest
> problems with longdesc is/was that HTML4 did not clearly articulate how  
> user-agents should interact with the attribute (expectations), so  
> browsers did nothing. Let's learn from our earlier mistakes.

Tangent, but I think longdesc is reasonably articulated in the HTML4 spec  
(given it's not a spec with the same rigour that we now expect):

"This attribute specifies a link to a long description of the image. This  
description should supplement the short description provided using the alt  
attribute. When the image has an associated image map, this attribute  
should provide information about the image map's contents. This is  
particularly important for server-side image maps. Since an IMG element  
may be within the content of an A element, the user agent's mechanism in  
the user interface for accessing the "longdesc" resource of the former  
must be different than the mechanism for accessing the href resource of  
the latter."

Whatever the reasons behind non-Opera browsers' decision not to implement  
longdesc, I  don't think that the spec is a major one (but obviously I  
don't know as I didn't take those decisions).

It would have been counter-productive to specify  "longdesc must be  
activated by choosing an option from a contextual menu" because not every  
UA has a contextual menu. Or Superwhizzo browser might decide that it  
wishes to XHR the longdesc URL in and display it on longclick rather than  
the contextual menu.

Tangent end.
Hang loose and stay groovy,

Bruce Lawson
Web Evangelist
www.opera.com (work)
www.brucelawson.co.uk (personal)
Buy my HTML5 book www.introducinghtml5.com

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