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RESOLUTION to modify text alternative change proposal and reject WAI CG's consensus recommendation

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2010 13:14:28 -0500
Message-ID: <i2w1c8dbcaa1004081114n42f8c76bz25b1ec3fb804bf6b@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>, Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>, wai-cg@w3.org
Hello Everyone,

At the April 7, 2010 HTML5 Accessibility Task Force face to face
meeting [1] a resolution [2] was made concerning the change proposal
[3] that I drafted for HTML Issue 31 missing-alt [4].

The resolution put to a vote was:

"RESOLUTION: Modify Laura's change proposal to have the conformance
checker normatively emit a warning as opposed to an error. This
warning must refer to the appropriate WCAG document and section that
provides remedial guidance to the author."

I was not in attendance when this resolution was made or consulted. I
have serious concerns regarding this resolution and strongly encourage
this task force to reconsider.

By this resolution this HTML5 accessibility task force is rejecting
the June 10, 2009 Web Accessibility Initiative Coordination Group (WAI
CG) consensus recommendation [5] on the subject.

On January 14, 2009 the WAI CG created a Task Force on Alternative
Text, to consider the various alternative text approaches discussed
over the past few years, and to develop consensus WAI recommendations
for appropriate handling of alternative text in HTML5.

The WAI CG special alt task force studied the matter comprehensively
for five months [6] and developed a holistic solution. The resulting
report provided WAI consensus recommendations for alternative text
support in HTML 5.

The recommendations were reviewed and agreed to by the following WAI
Working Groups: Authoring Tools Working Group (AUWG), Protocols &
Formats Working Group (PFWG), User Agent Working Group (UAWG), and Web
Content (WCAG WG).

The WAI CG June 10, 2009 consensus document had absolutely no
reference to "warnings". We discussed that point ad nausium over the
course of the five month period. The WAI CG consensus document is all
about what is VALID. Period.

It says and I quote,

<img> is only valid when at least one of the following is true:

* @alt is present (empty or non-empty) OR
* @aria-labelledby is present (non-empty only) OR
* the <img> is located within a <figure> that has a non-empty <figcaption> OR
* @role="presentation"


The HTML 5 change proposal that I drafted says exactly that:

Lack of text alternatives for short text alternatives needs to trigger an error.

The set of options was somewhat negotiable. But a set is mandatory for
validity. I'll not change that in the proposal.

If WAI CG has NEW information that was not discussed previously, I
would certainly consider it. But I am not aware of any new
developments at this point.

Did the vote on this resolution at the April 7, 2010, HTML5
Accessibility face to face meeting follow task force consensus
procedure [7]? I do not recall having a  two week discussion of the
topic on this list, or seeing a draft task force decision two days in
advance of the vote. As far as I can tell, no call was made for
feedback via email on the resolution.


Best Regards,

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/ftf_2010-04
[2] http://www.w3.org/2010/04/07-html-a11y-minutes.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/ImgElement20090126
[4] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/31
[5] http://www.w3.org/2009/06/Text-Alternatives-in-HTML5
[6] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/actions/98
[7] http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/consensus-procedures

Laura L. Carlson
Received on Thursday, 8 April 2010 18:15:02 UTC

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