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

From: Gez Lemon <g.lemon@webprofession.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 05:47:36 +0100
Message-ID: <y2ze2a28a921004092147j6c91f68ey82c49fe8461524d0@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>, Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>, wai-cg@w3.org
On 9 April 2010 22:51, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
> Laura Carlson wrote:
>> >
>> > I don't see anything in the resolution that takes this away,
>> Oh but it does.
>> * An error is something that is invalid.
>> * A warning is something that is valid.
> Hi Laura,
> I am concerned about getting bogged down in the semantics of a word. Where
> are you taking these definitions from? Henri's validators.nu (which,
> AFAIK, is really the only HTML5 validator we have available to us)?

Isn't this the crux of the issue? The face-to-face group were more
concerned with a glimmer of hope (nothing guaranteed) that Henri's
validator (an experimental application, not formally associated with
the W3C) would be more likely to flag missing alt as a warning than an
error. It appears to be an issue of compromise, albeit one-sided with
no guarantees. By anyone's definition, images without a text
alternative (even if that alternative is to indicate the image is
presentational) are structurally incomplete - an error. The
specification should state that images MUST have a text alternative
(by any of the means proposed by the ALT task force set up to deal
with this issue), but the face-to-face accessibility task force
(emphasis on face-to-face, and that this hasn't yet been accepted by
the task force as a whole) are willing to compromise the specification
for someone's validator.

> Frankly, we can call it 'green jello'

Being a foreigner, I have no idea what green jello is, but it sounds
an appropriate name for defining something that is structurally
incomplete as a warning, rather than an error.

> if the behavior we got was that when
> an <img> lacked an @alt value the author was taken to the WAI-authored
> page on how to fix this 'broken-ness'. To me, *THAT* is what we want to
> have, rather than get stuck over a word.

Personally, I would rather the specification be correct, rather than
trying to satisfy someone's validator. There aren't even any
guarantees it will be flagged as a warning by this validator; just a
suggestion that it's more likely to be accepted as a warning in this
validator if the accessibility task force are willing to compromise.
By lowering expectations at this early stage, the accessibility task
force are going to find it even more difficult to insist that images
without a text alternative are structurally incomplete when it's
refused, as they are asserting that it's not that important (just a

Supplement your vitamins
Received on Saturday, 10 April 2010 04:48:15 UTC

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