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Re: [html4all] New issue: IMG section of HTML5 draft contradicts WCAG 1 & WCAG 2 (draft)

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 09:25:24 -0400
Message-ID: <020001c89bd7$80fcbc60$0901a8c0@HANDS>
To: "James Graham" <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <chaals@opera.com>
Cc: <wai-xtech@w3.org>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>

that's only if authors and requirers read both wcag and the html spec.  I 
think requiring at the top and then following with best practices is a 
better approach.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Graham" <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
To: "Charles McCathieNevile" <chaals@opera.com>
Cc: <wai-xtech@w3.org>; "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 8:42 AM
Subject: Re: [html4all] New issue: IMG section of HTML5 draft contradicts 
WCAG 1 & WCAG 2 (draft)



Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>> Saying that such products should be
>> programmed to output invalid HTML isn't a viable answer, either.
>
> Why not? Almost *every* tool I know of that produces HTML produces
> invalid HTML, so I am not sure how you determine that there is some
> existential reason why this cannot happen.

Certainly it is true that many tools produce invalid HTML but I'm not sure 
quite
how one could claim in the HTML spec that a tool ought to produce 
non-conforming
markup. One could, I suppose allow such sites to conform to the HTML
specification but not to WCAG, which is the current situation.

 From my perspective, it looks like the heart of this issue is not whether 
there
are cases in which it is unreasonable to expect authors to provide alt text;
several (to me) compelling such examples have already been given. Neither 
does
the main issue seem to be whether tools should supply spurious alt text in 
cases
where no sensible information is available; there seems to be pretty 
widespread
agreement that spurious or unnecessarily repetitive values. Instead, the 
issue
seems to be how complex a message we are willing to send out.

Whilst I think the current spec text is genuinely designed to improve the
experience of users unable to access graphics, it is undeniably more subtle 
than
the message "always use alt text". I guess it is a genuine concern that 
making
the message more subtle will have a negative impact on accessibility even if 
the
changes themselves are designed to have a positive impact. It's hard to call
which way that would go but, if WCAG still has a straightforward message, it
seems that we may be able to have the best of both worlds.

-- 
"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Received on Friday, 11 April 2008 13:26:09 GMT

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