W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2008

Re: Flickr and alt

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 10:19:43 -0400
Message-ID: <48AAD67F.3090504@mit.edu>
To: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
CC: "Patrick H. Lauke" <splintered@gmail.com>, "Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)" <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org

David Poehlman wrote:
> Right, either you are compliant with a spec or you are not.  It is like 
> programming.  you can write a lousy app and it may work but... interestingly 
> in some programming environments, they won't run at all if not done right.

Not that great an example, since you can write an app "per spec" and it 
won't run in some programming environments.  In fact this is a quite 
common problem with a number of existing languages: following the 
language spec is no guarantee of things working, because of bugs in the 
compilers, interpreters, virtual machines, standard libraries, etc.

> Ths is not to say you can't choose to be non compliant, but we cannot 
> provide for exceptions in the spec because those who don't want to be 
> compliant but want to claim compliance will work hard to fit themselves into 
> the exceptions.

This seems to be using a circular definition of compliance....

Ideally the spec would have the following properties:

1)  Being compliant with the spec is the easy thing to do (leads to
     the "right" behavior from the point of view of authors).
2)  Being compliant with the spec leads to the "right" behavior
     from the point of view of those viewing (hearing, smelling,
     whatever) the content.

Sadly, this is pretty difficult because at heart authors are lazy (just 
like all of us, and this is not a bad thing!) and the "right" behavior 
from the viewer's point of view varies so widely by viewer....

-Boris
Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 14:21:24 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 29 September 2014 09:38:57 UTC