W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

Re: using an attribute to categorize the @alt state [was Baby Steps or Backwards Steps?]

From: Philip Taylor <philip@zaynar.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2007 00:47:53 +0100
Message-ID: <46C78529.3010208@zaynar.demon.co.uk>
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
CC: public-html WG <public-html@w3.org>

Robert Burns wrote:
> [...] In an HTMl5 
> conforming document embedrel would be required. In other words: "authors 
> MUST include the @embedrel attribute on any embedded content element". 
> [...]
> So this proposal also makes @alt no longer a required attribute. Instead 
> it makes @embedrel a required attribute on all embedded content 
> (non-text media) elements.

One problem with adding new required attributes is that a large amount 
of conforming HTML4 content will be made non-conforming HTML5, and can 
not be trivially converted into conforming HTML5.

As I understand your proposal, every <img> on a site would have to (at 
minimum) be converted into <img embedrel="missing"> - depending on how 
the site is produced, that would require changes to static HTML files, 
HTML template files, HTML in print statements spread throughout script 
code, fragments of HTML in databases; and most of that work would have 
to be done manually rather than using automatic conversion tools.

Currently, many conforming HTML4 documents can be made into conforming 
HTML5 by just using the appropriate doctype. Requiring authors to make 
all the above changes to use a new required attribute, especially when 
it provides them with no value in any current or future browser, seems 
likely to discourage many standards-aware authors from ever wanting to 
migrate to HTML5.

Philip Taylor
Received on Saturday, 18 August 2007 23:48:00 UTC

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