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Re: [html4all] several messages about alt

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 09:14:33 +0200
Message-ID: <48030459.5090803@malform.no>
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
CC: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, HTML4All <list@html4all.org>, Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Karl Dubost 2008-04-14 04.51:   ­  
> Le 14 avr. 2008 à 10:58, Leif Halvard Silli a écrit :
>> It is very well, indeed, that you are accurate about what 
>> validator.nu checks for. My point was to say that people have 
>> expectations about what the W3 validator does. 
>> [...]Different groups of People have sets of expectations about what 
>> the W3C validator does. [...]

Certainly. But I was referring to expectations, based on experience 
about what the W3 validator does. If the W3 Validator would suddenly 
start dropping to  check for @alt, then this would fool many.

> There is also another issue which is the intersection of more or less 
> well defined specifications. For an example, XHTML 1.0 defines what is 
> a [*strict* conforming document][1]. But it doesn't define the 
> [conformance of multi-namespaces documents][2].

And in that regard: MathML has a required ALT attribute, for the 
<mglyph> elmement. It would be strange if there would be no checking for 
the @ALT on the HTML part of a document, while a full check on the MatML 
part.

Btw, regarding what Henri said about stamping tools, stamping is not 
only about offering a badge to put on validated web sites:

Ian Hickson 2008-04-11 00.11: [...]
> On Tue, 24 Jan 2006, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>   
>> > On Jan 23, 2006, at 18:43, dolphinling wrote:
>>     
>>> > > Second, it could force authoring tools to produce invalid documents if 
>>> > > the author did not provide any alt text. However, those documents 
>>> > > would be non-conformant anyway, so this is not a huge problem.
>>>       
>> > 
>> > It is. Authoring tools are judged by taking a page authored using the 
>> > tool and running it through the W3C Validator or, presumably in the 
>> > future, through an HTML5 conformance checker.Authoring tool makers who 
>> > are capable of making their tool produce syntactically conforming 
>> > documents will want to do so and minimize the chance that the users of 
>> > their software tarnish the reputation of the tool in the eyes of people 
>> > who use an automated test as a litmus test of authoring tool bogosity. 
>> > (People who test tools that way will outnumber the people who make a 
>> > more profound analysis due to the "validate, validate, validate" 
>> > propaganda.)
>>     
>
> Indeed.
>   

The problem indeeded here is one of psychology.

Sales psychology.

Let's remove the requirement for checking if alt is used, so that we can 
prevent that the customer, he himself having forgotten to insert the 
alt,  complains that the tool is producing invalid content.

This is not about a rathole. It's about a hair in the soup.

Design principles, 3.2. Priority of Constituencies:

    In case of conflict, consider users over authors over implementors
    over specifiers over theoretical purity. [...]

-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 14 April 2008 07:15:27 UTC

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