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Re: [html4all] several messages about alt

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 04:36:49 +0200
Message-ID: <4802C341.40500@malform.no>
To: Dannii <curiousdannii@gmail.com>
CC: HTML4All <list@html4all.org>, Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Dannii 08-04-14 02.44:     
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 1:33 AM, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no 
> <mailto:lhs@malform.no>> wrote:
>
>     Those are different evaluation axes. But experience has shown us
>     that the only validation that authors care about is the general
>     CSS and HTML stamps. Therefore, we must (continue to) incorporate
>     social consciousness into the general stamping tools. 
>
>     ...
>
>     The way I propose it, with some kind of "unready" stamp etc,
>     people will be allowed to cheat - just remove the 'unready' and do
>     the minimum thing with the alt attribtues -  but they will also
>     then know that they are cheating. At the same time, what is
>     cheating? The author evalution always counts.
>
>
>  
> As you say, most people generally only care about getting the tick of 
> approval, or in this case, validator images. This unready stamp 
> reminds me a lot of the transitional doctypes. The transitional 
> doctypes too were meant to be used by a small segment of the web that 
> were unable to completely fulfil the proper spec (ie, strict). In the 
> case of the transitional doctypes those pages were flawed using 
> presentational markup rather than inaccessible markup, but I think it 
> should still be a warning.

The difference from "transitional" is that 'unready' should be something 
that is meant to be temporary, for each document. And not like the 
proposed WYSIWYG flag which, just as the trasinsitional types, are 
offered as a less strivt version of HTML. 'Unready' is mean to help the 
author reach the goal. It is not meant as an alternative goal.

> Because the transitional doctypes were not used as intended.
>
> For an unready stamp to be successful I think all of the following 
> would need to be ensured. Can you provide any evidence they would be?
> 1. It really would have to be used by only a small number of pages
> 2. The public would have to continue seeing it as undesirable, rather 
> than accepting and even preferring it to the full spec. Even if the 
> validators gave warnings or errors those might soon be regarded as 
> flaws of the validator... for example, does anyone actually pay 
> attention to the CSS validator messages about not providing both fore 
> and background colours?

The public would see it as undesirable because, as I said, a document 
with the 'unready' stamp should never be considered valid, even if 
otherwise is fully OK.

> 3. People would actually need to work actively to fix pages with the 
> stamp.

As long as validity and "stamping" are used as page developement tools, 
the I think it would.

> 4. That the stamp wouldn't be used in more cases than intended. Yes 
> it's intended for CMS', but what's to stop it being used on any pages 
> where the author is too lazy to add alt attributes?

Ok - I remember that in a debate at HTML4all.org, with and about Anne's 
blog, I referred to the DOCTYPE of a page there (I think it was that 
famouse time when he dropped that famous alt, because he could not find 
a good alt text for it). The DOCTYPE was HTML 4, but after I mentioned 
this, he changed it to <DOCTYPE HTML>. And thus suddenly my words lost 
all their power. :)

Yes, if I staffed a page with the "unready" stamp, I could say to you, 
if you complained about the lack of ALT texts, that, sorry, the page is 
still being worked on.

But also, just removing the unready stamp, would not make that page 
valid, unless it really was valid (in a machine checkable way - and in 
general).
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 14 April 2008 02:37:33 GMT

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