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Re: Candidate TF Resolution:ISSUE-66 image-analysis

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 21:11:12 +0000 (UTC)
To: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1004132106310.23507@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Tue, 13 Apr 2010, Janina Sajka wrote:
> 
> RESOLUTION: The HTML-A11Y Task Force supports the change proposal to 
> remove the image heuristics paragraph from the img Element Section of 
> the HTML specification as detailed at: 
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/ImageHeuristics.

That change proposal references an older version of the paragraph; is the 
newer text more acceptable?

How about the alternative change proposal?:

   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Mar/0195.html


> RATIONALE: Key points raised at the F2F included:
> 
> Image heuristics text should be stricken from the HTML spec, because it
> gives the message that this is viable now, and a reasonable substitute
> for @alt. Neither is true.

This doesn't appear to be the case for the new text: the new text doesn't 
say that it's a reasonable subsititute, indeed it goes out of its way to 
say that alt="" is still required. It also calls out a specific mechanism 
that actually is viable now.


> Should image heuristics become useful in the future then we might 
> support it but not at present.

This seems to undersell the state of the art.


> Not putting it in the spec will not cause anyone not to do it if they
> were going to do it ... Filling in the attribute is not something the
> spec should be doing.

The paragraph does not suggest filling in the alt="" attribute using 
heuristics.


> We would not normally take time to object that this exists even though 
> it goes beyond what a spec needs to provide, but we are concerned that 
> it could mislead authors into believing they can rely on this when the 
> current state of technology does not support that.

That seems unfair given the lengths to which the spec goes to indicate 
that alternative text is not optional.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 13 April 2010 21:11:40 GMT

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