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

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 20:46:56 +0000 (UTC)
To: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Cc: 'Dave Singer' <singer@apple.com>, 'HTML4All' <list@html4all.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org, 'HTML WG' <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0804112030150.7575@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Fri, 11 Apr 2008, John Foliot wrote:
> 
> The problem with the proposed spec is that it allows a gray area to 
> exist (in some instances, you don't need an alt value), and the fear 
> (justifiable) from some quarters is that this gray area can and will be 
> exploited.  I need only quote one of the HTML5 Working Groups' personal 
> blogs to illustrate this fear:
> 
> 	"I am currently following HTML5 (omitting alt) as it wasn't really 
> clear to me what would be a better solution given the single constrain I 
> have: not finding it necessary to provide replacement text for all those 
> images." (http://annevankesteren.nl/2007/09/alt) - Here Anne did not 
> "find it necessary" - not that he could not, nor that the image was an 
> Ink blot test that providing alternative text to would invalidate (the 
> two scenarios suggested in the draft spec), but simply that he did not 
> find it necessary. The fear is very real!

Anyone who honestly believes that there is a snowball's chance in hell 
that users of image gallery software are going to painstakingly provide 
alternative text for each and every image they upload is living in a 
fantasy world. It is unlikely that we can make much progress while people 
still seriously consider advocating for that as being a productive use of 
their time.

There are people who upload literally thousands of photos a week. If a 
photo takes one minute to describe, which is probably optimisic, that's 
two full days' worth of work per week just to describe the photos. That's 
not happening. Even people who upload 10 photos a month don't care enough 
to describe their photos.

You might be able to get some people to describe some of the most popular 
photos, but there's no way that's going to scale to all photos on all 
photo galleries, so the problem of what to do with photos that have no 
useful alternative text will always exist.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 11 April 2008 20:47:40 UTC

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