W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > August 2012

Re: Audience Based Validator User Interface (ISSUE-206)

From: Michael[tm] Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 01:18:29 +0900
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: Chaals McCathieNevile <w3b@chaals.com>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20120807161828.GB68105@sideshowbarker>
Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, 2012-08-07 10:53 -0500:

> Hi Chaals,
> 
> > This really boils down to social engineering - we're trying to trick people
> > into doing the right thing, and failing that the least harmful thing we an
> > get them to do.
> 
> Trickery should not be our aim.

I completely agree with Chaals that what we are trying to do here amounts
to social engineering. Maybe "trick" is the wrong word, but I certainly
understand what he meant by that.

I think using a markup solution to try address do a social engineering
problem is not always (or not usually, even) a good idea.

> The validator has historically been a tool to help find and fix errors.

Basing decisions on what the validator has historically been is not a
goal for me personally at least. The W3C validator has historically been in
part a simple(minded) way for users to ultimately get a validation "pass"
that they can advertise, and get a badge for. I don't want to encourage
anybody to use the validator with the goal of getting a pass. I want it to
be the best tool possible for helping them catch errors they actually want
to be informed about, for things that they can actually fix themselves. I
don't want for the default behavior to be that is forces error messages on
them for things that they can't fix, especially if the end result ends up
being that somebody solves the problem by having a tool just generate
alt="" or alt="image" for images that should have alt text but don't.

> Reversing that and dumbing it down to by default hide errors would have
> repercussions.

It's not a simple matter of "dumbing it down". Nobody is suggesting that's
what we should do. I think everybody is in good faith trying to find a
solution that ensures that machine-generated documents end up being more
usable instead of less usable.

  --Mike

-- 
Michael[tm] Smith http://people.w3.org/mike
Received on Tuesday, 7 August 2012 16:18:33 GMT

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