Comparing longdesc to <a href> (19th February 2008)

(Continuing discussion about Too much accessibility - the rise and fall of the LONGDESC. My comment was greeted by The connection was reset.)

Context menus can be opened from the keyboard in Windows. Either by the Properties key, located next to the right-hand Ctrl, or by Shift+F10. This is a native feature.

If the issue is longdesc being used wrongly most of the time, that’s true of HTML generally.

The solution, I think, is to stop authoring tools from generating specialist markup without the author knowing about it. Automated accessibility checks which pat authors on the back for the mere presence of longdesc, without checking if it’s a link to a different document which would actually work, are probably another area to improve.

Abandoning longdesc and using text links is similar to CSS hacks, to my mind. It means abandoning the purpose-built feature designed specifically to provide this, then putting something similar together using features which weren’t designed for it.

Dropping longdesc and using visible text links (which will be of no use to most people who see them) doesn’t seem a great option, to me. I’d rather we fix the situation with longdesc if it is useful to people.

HTMLWG are still discussing longdesc.