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

Re: Flickr and alt

From: William Loughborough <wloughborough@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 08:58:43 -0700
Message-ID: <1e3451610808240858y1ee464fr35942183d20badb7@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@mit.edu>
Cc: "David Poehlman" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org
On Sun, Aug 24, 2008 at 8:02 AM, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu> wrote:

> As far as I can see, your position is not really supportable on moral,
> legal, or ethical grounds.

It's hard for me to accept that you actually believe that none of those
grounds "support" universal connectedness.

> [1] I should note that this position seems to me to completely fall apart
> when applied to, say, an 8-year-old putting a school project up on the web
> so his grandparents can look at it, but then again I think this position
> falls apart on other grounds too.

I think you give too little credit to 8-year-olds. They are likelier to find
moral/ethical grounds for making their projects accessible to their aging
grandparents - particularly if they encounter teachers who do find the basic
tenet of "everyone/everything/everywhere/always connected" a sensible mantra
and impart that ethic to their students. They don't ordinarily find it hard
to reconcile that those of us "of a certain age" have much in common with
the groups you cite including "the large number of various cognitive
disabilities that limit comprehension of language."

Perhaps it's quixotic to tilt so hard at this particular windmill, but by
codifying the "principles" of WCAG 2 into more aspects of Web authoring
(including in particular the languages we use for this purposes), the HTML
WG could perform a useful service for Accessibility for All.

After all, the entire HTML 5 project is a completely unnecessary exercise
since XHTML furnishes all the sand-box needed to make a markup language be
whatever anyone (even without the imprimateur of a W3C Working Group) can
do. Since XML freed the creation of languages from its imprisonment in an
academic ivory tower, we don't need yet another hierarchically-based group
to tell us what to do.

If you think it not ethically-supported to have tools/procedures to make the
Web universally accessible, then go ahead and make a stripped version of a
markup language - one without everyone's participation. Just don't try to
get it as a W3C Recommendation because you will be frustrated by the
continuation of a filibuster by those whose moral/ethical imperatives
diverge from yours.


Received on Sunday, 24 August 2008 15:59:24 UTC

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