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Re: testing versus expert opinion

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 02:21:11 -0700
Cc: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A059853C-93F5-4C47-AC41-2847F52E8122@apple.com>
To: Steve Faulkner <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>

On Sep 11, 2007, at 12:12 AM, Steve Faulkner wrote:

> Hi anne and mjs
>
> <anne> also funny: http://html4all.org/pipermail/list_html4all.org/2007-September/000267.html
> <mjs_> yes, actual testing counts for more than the opinion of an  
> official expert
> <mjs> the shocking secret is out
>
> cite:http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/html-wg/20070911
> Just wondered what testing was done before deciding to make the alt  
> attribute optional? Or was the decision based solely on expert  
> opinion?
>

Can we please not post out-of-context comments from IRC on the working  
group list, with the apparent intent of instigating a flamewar?

If you follow the IRC link in the email link in the IRC link from  
which you quoted, you'll see that I said that making alt optional  
(even in the very rare cases where it was made optional) should be  
reconsidered in light of the testing done. On the other hand, others  
have argued that designing accessibility features solely based on the  
state of current assistive technology is unwise and will slow  
improvements in the state of accessibility.

My follow-up comment was that I find the testing more persuasive than  
the opinions of experts. This applies to my own expert opinion as  
well. I would hope that any intellectually honest expert would concede  
this point.

In other recent IRC discussions, I argued that noalt might be valuable  
as a flag for deliberately omitted alt, to regain some of the  
conformance checking benefits of alt being mandatory.

In my strongly held opinion, being willing to reconsider one's  
position in light of material evidence is a virtue, and one we will  
all need to learn to make progress in this working group. Being  
unwilling to ever change your own mind, and picking a fight with  
people who change their position to be closer to yours, are both  
unproductive.

More significantly, trying to create a dispute where there is none is  
trolling. I will do my best to look past it in this case but please  
try to keep this kind of abusive behavior off the mailing list in the  
future.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Tuesday, 11 September 2007 09:21:31 GMT

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