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Re: Propose removing "An image in an e-mail or document intended for a specific person who is known to be able to view images" from the HTML5 spec.

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 02:35:16 +0200
Message-ID: <48015544.2010504@malform.no>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org

Ian Hickson 08-04-12 22.00:     
Steven Faulkner:
> > I propose it is removed.
>
> So say that my partner e-mails me personally an e-mail that contains a 
> diagram of our new apartment's floor layout.
>
> What possible benefit is there to making that e-mail non-conforming? 
> (There's no way that my partner will describe the image textually, I 
> assure you.)
>   

There is a possible benefit in having authors know that there is just 
one standard, if and when they want - or need - to conform. However, it 
is also necessary to operate, interim, with HTML which is not ready to 
take or demand the validation test.

In this regard, I proposed [1] - as an replacement for the current 
"WYSIWYG made" stamp - a new "unready" stamp, which all authors - 
couples, and blind - and all editing tools - could use, when they need 
to offer HTML which they consider technically unready. (Becuase of the 
relativity of what e.g. a good 'alt' is, the author/editor judgement 
always matter.) When one sets the "unready" flag, it will never formally 
validate, even if there are no formal errors. If you don't include the 
'unready' flag, then readers should assume that the author think it is 
techically ready.

This way, we would find a room, in the validation process, for the 
necessary approvement of the author. And thus, **perhaps**, it would 
also be possible for the validation tool to give a formal answer about 
whether it is technically valid or not, (instead of telling the author 
that it is valid, only provided you have also considered alt, summary, 
longdesc etc.) Because, if the author has approved it, and there were no 
errors, then why should it give a conditional validation?

There seemed to be agreement, a while back, that the WYSIWYG stamp 
(re)introduces some kind of unwanted versioning in HTML.

But one cannot, during editing - including passing of e-mail - avoid the 
unreadyness step.

The benefit of 'unready' is that it raises the consciousness about html 
authoring as as an "algorithmic", process of several taskes that should 
be looked after before submitting it to the final validation. For 
instance, Boris [2] said something which I think is valid even for hand 
authoring authors:
>  So if the alt text is being auto-generated via image analysis, it 
> makes sense to do it with the most advanced image analysis software.  
> All else being equal, this probably means doing it as late as possible 
> in calendar time.

There is perhaps nothing that automatically, by guarantee, spits out 
guaranteed valid HTML. And thus, if the author haven't even considered 
whether it is valid, then why should he atomatically stamp it as valid?

The unready flag serves to inform caring readers that the author care 
about making it technically ready, but that he might not be ready with 
readying it yet.

It also act as a help in the authoring process: For instance, if all 
images in a document or collection of pages, were inserted 
automatically, the unready stamp could serve as a flag for all the 
images: Instead of simply starting to ask the author about each and 
every image, the program can instead ask, if the program has the unready 
flag, if  the author wants, at this moment, to start to go through the 
process of adding alternative text. When there is no unready flag, the 
application should stop bothering the author with such questions.

If we insert this flag as a META element, then the element could have 
several keywords to mark, for the author, which parts of the authoring 
process he/she have considered.

I see now that this could be made quite advanced: On could keep a flag 
inside each IMG element (in class= ?) as a flag for whether the alt text 
has been considered, so that the program doesn't e.g. ask about alt="" 
over and over, if it has been considered.

An effect of this would be - I suppose - that we would get many high 
quality  documents which are marked as 'unready', due to 
selfcritical/slow authors. And many lesser quality documents without 
such a mark, made by less critical/lazy authors and bad quality 
automated tools. And this would be, I think welcome, as it - together 
with the requiered author approval that this build in,, would make us 
more critical to what the valdi stame actually means. It would also 
create more room for necessary critical evaluation by humans, instead of 
blindly relying on it.

Also note, that this is just about technical quality. Allthough, alt 
text is also a content issue. I chose the word "unready" to seperate it 
from "drafts". A draft can be technicallly ready, even if it is just a 
draft.

[1] http://www.w3.org/mid/47D596E6.1010901@malform.no
[2] http://www.w3.org/mid/47FFB96B.3040303@mit.edu
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Sunday, 13 April 2008 00:35:59 GMT

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