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RE: Longdesc vs d


From: julian.rickards@ndm.gov.on.ca
Date: Oct 28, 2003 7:38AM

Hi Ed:

What I do is to divide the graphics into three categories: decorative,
simple and complex. Decorative graphics are those that provide no content
value to the page and are given alt="" or if possible, I try to make them a
background graphic using CSS. Simple graphics are those which do provide
content to the page and I put a short alt (generally no more than 6 words)
to describe the graphic. Complex graphics I haven't encountered yet on my
site (or at least the portion I am responsible for) but I envision things
like charts or graphs as being complex graphics which requre a "d" link. As
for consistency, for me, this is a consistent policy.

As to how long we will be needing the "d" link? How long have we been
waiting for NN4.x to disappear off the browser charts so that we don't have
to jump through hoops to ensure users of that browser don't crash when
viewing your pages, even if the look or style is not the same as current
browsers. I don't know that anyone can answer that but there may be some
clues in JAWS 5.0 as to whether or not the longdesc attribute is supported.


Julian Rickards
Digital Publications Distribution Coordinator
Publications Services Section
Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Phone: (705) 670-5608
Fax: (705) 670-5690

-----Original Message-----
From: ED COHEN [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2003 9:21 AM
Subject: Longdesc vs d

Hello All,
This group is so helpful!

Our state agency is moving towards producing 508 compliant pages. We are
also working up a plan to repair the almost 10,000 old non-compliant pages
we currently offer.

Our question is how long, if at all, should we plan to use the "d" for
complex graphics, since newer screen readers do support the "longdesc" tag?

Should we be concerned about consistency... offering the d on some pages but
not on others?

How are others dealing with this issue?

Thank you all very much for your feedback.

Ed Cohen
Web Accessibility Manager
Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Office of Information Technology

PH: 317/232-8600
800/451-6027 Toll-free within Indiana)

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