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Re: Flickr and alt

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 11:38:15 +0200
Message-ID: <48AA9487.2080008@danbri.org>
To: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Cc: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, wai-xtech@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Gez Lemon wrote:

> If you do bulk uploads on Flickr intended for your friends and loved
> ones, it's reasonable that you might decide to add text alternatives
> later, or maybe never get around to adding them. 
[...]
> Why is it so important that inaccessible content should be considered
> compliant? Why not allow these edge cases to be considered
> non-compliant, and have authoring tools encourage authors to author
> accessible content? If an author chooses not to provide text
> alternatives because they're writing for themselves, close friends and
> relatives, that's fine...

The hidden dimension here is time.

"I don't need alt text 'cos I don't know any blind people"
vs
"What about when your grand-children's fading sight as they get older?"

Mena Trott has a great Ted Talk on this aspect of blogging, 
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/mena_trott_tours_her_blog_world.html 
has video and audio, but no transcripts.

People are creating content today which might be more valued in twenty 
or forty years time than they can possibly imagine. Flagging it as 
ill-formed if it lacks accessibility detail is imho a perfectly 
reasonable way of helping people create content that lasts.

Nobody can ever say with confidence what the visual (and other) 
capabilities of their close friends and relatives will be in a couple of 
years, let alone 10+. Or their own for that matter. So I'm quite wary of 
encouraging that kind of complacency by suggesting that it's ok to make 
inaccessible stuff because we know the entire audience. And that's 
setting aside the self-fulfilling aspect (not having any 
partially-sighted friends vs not being friendly to partially-sighted 
people). Perhaps a similar argument might be made in terms of content 
that is intrinsically transitory, and not expected to be consumed at all 
in the future (eg. a webcam)?

cheers,

Dan

--
http://danbri.org/
Dan
Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 09:39:16 GMT

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