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Re: One more thought about requiring the alt to add to the pile

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2008 12:58:45 +0300
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org
Message-Id: <707953FA-B42E-462D-8AA8-E3E059F7DEED@iki.fi>
To: "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>

On Apr 20, 2008, at 12:25, Steven Faulkner wrote:

>> There has now been a decade-long experiment with making alt a syntax
>> requirement. I think this experiment shows that doing so has the  
>> downside of
>> inducing bogus alt. When validation has downsides, as a validator  
>> developer,
>> I want to work to remove the downsides.
> Where is the empirical data to support your assumptions? All we
> currently have on both sides is anecdote and conviction.

All I have is unwritten anecdotal data that convinces me of the  
*existence* of the phenomenon to a non-trivial extent (from observing  
tool output, from observing what others say when they discuss things  
and from observing that my own thoughts when writing tools or markup  
parallel what I observe others to say or do). It also seems to me that  
the phenomenon of people writing good alt text because a validator  
reminded them *exists*.

My point was that quantitative data about the magnitude of different  
phenomena around alt and how they average out is something we don't  

Henri Sivonen
Received on Sunday, 20 April 2008 09:59:28 UTC

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