April 3, 2013

Related to Bug 854848 – Support the longdesc attribute

Talk about a sore loser…

With respect to the Mozilla bug-tracker (where I originally wrote this, and then counted to ten – err, rather 8 before changing my mind), here is my original unvarnished response to Ian Hickson’s comments.

To David Bolter, Marco Zehe, Alexander Surkov, and anyone else at Mozilla who will be involved in the final solution, I thank you in advance. Y’all know I will help if I can.

OK, now for the Rant.

(In reply to Hixie (not reading bugmail) from comment #14)
> > it’s in the spec
> It’s in _a_ spec. Anything can be in a spec, all it takes is one person to
> write a spec. 🙂

Yes, and it appears that you are now concerned that *The* spec (W3C) is surpassing your personal WHAT WG never-quite-finished sandbox spec.

As everyone knows however, what is written in a spec, versus what is implemented “out there” is what really matters. I suspect that your concern right now is that if browsers start to actually listen to their constituents instead of you, it will put you in an impasse: either your WHAT WG spec becomes irrelevant, or you are forced by the community and implementers to eat crow and add longdesc to your spec.

No wonder that somebody who claims to not be reading his bug mails is taking such an active part in this discussion.

> longdesc=”” doesn’t actually help well-designed accessible sites (since
> those wouldn’t rely on images to convey content).

Oh really? How about you go convince all those infographic heavy sites of that. While you are at it, how about you have a chat with text-book publishers such as the Association of American Publishers, who are in the process of releasing digital text books (complete with Important Images) that also need to accessible.

Your myopic view of the web is astounding for somebody in your position. Your failure to listen to others is inexcusable.

> It doesn’t help
> poorly-designed accessible sites (since they wouldn’t bother to write a
> longdesc=”” page).
> Plus the attribute itself is a lost cause:
> http://blog.whatwg.org/the-longdesc-lottery

Still trucking out that tired old chestnut huh? Opinion camouflaged as “data”, with no references, no third party verification, and most importantly, a bias so obvious a 6 year old could see through it.

> This is just a duplicate of bug 1996 and is a waste of everyone’s time.

If this is such a “waste of time”, why have you bothered to respond to this bug 4 times now? Please, for everyone’s sake, don’t waste any more of your time here: move on to something else and let those of us who want to see Mozilla succeed at supporting the W3C HTML5 Image Description Extension Spec work with the Mozilla folks to do just that.

Hugs and Kisses,


CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Related to Bug 854848 – Support the longdesc attribute by John Foliot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Posted by John

I am a 16 year veteran of Web Accessibility, living and working in Austin, Texas. Currently Principal Accessibility Strategist at Deque Systems Inc., I have previously held accessibility related positions at JPMorgan Chase and Stanford University. I am also actively involved with the W3C - the international internet standards body - where I attempt to stir the pot, fight hard for accessibility on the web, and am currently co-chairing a subcommittee on the accessibility of media elements in HTML5.

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