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failure to follow through is not evidence of intent to deceive [was: Re: [html4all] HTML5 Alternative Text, and Authoring Tools]

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 12:22:16 -0400
Message-Id: <9A3F0B4E-F6C1-4533-A94F-B9219710AB6D@IEEE.org>
Cc: "James Graham" <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "John Foliot" <foliot@wats.ca>, HTML4All <list@html4all.org>, public-html@w3.org, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
To: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>


On 1 May 2008, at 11:22 PM, Steven Faulkner wrote:

> jgraham wrote:
>> I should just point out that *no one* has presented data from a  
>> useful alt
>> study yet.
>
> So statements[1]  by the editor about the "evidence" suggesting that
> making the alt optional "is going to improve the accessibility of the
> Web"  are duplicitous

Whoa!  I see no evidence of intent to deceive,

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duplicitous

or that Ian doesn't believe all that he said.

> "We truly do believe in  research, hard data, and analysis, rather
> than hypotheticals; and we truly do believe that evidence suggests
> that what we are arguing for is going to improve the accessibility of
> the Web."
> [1] http://juicystudio.com/article/html5-alt-text-authoring- 
> tools.php#comment3
>
>>  Lastly, I do not understand why it is perceived as the  
>> responsibility of
>> the editor to do any study that other members of the group feel is  
>> required.
>
> Simply because he has claimed that his decision in the spec about the
> alt is based on research "rather than hypotheticals".

There is no responsibility to *do a study* that falls peculiarly on  
any one
party.  On the other hand, the "social competence" that the W3C Process
asks of Participants

http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/ 
policies.html#ParticipationCriteria

should be interpreted as:

> If you believe there is evidence supporting your conclusion, share the
> evidence and not just the conclusion.


A corollary would seem to be "If you can't share the evidence, don't
claim the authority of evidence."

There would appear to be a missed opportunity to exercise leadership,
in this regard.

Let's practice "I statements" so Ian can say "my experience leaves me
thinking this" and Steve can say "my experience leaves me thinking that"
and we can recognize that there are varieties of experience that have
contributed to varieties of interpretation.

"let's get some evidence that we can all believe
in" is, while hypthetical as stated, a pointer to one way out of the
existing situation where different people's experience has led them to
differing interpretations.  Maybe we can all agree it would help, even
if none of us has an instantly-ready-to-offer capability to conduct
fresh research.

Al

> regards
> stevef
>
>
> 2008/5/1 James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>:
>> Steven Faulkner wrote:
>>
>>
>>> I have made it clear what is required from you [2], it is not
>>> incumbent on anybody but you to back up your claims. Currently you
>>> provide nothing more than your opinion as a basis for making the alt
>>> optional in the spec. The HTML working group deserves more than  
>>> this.
>>>
>>
>>  Whilst I fear to reply to this thread for worry it will create an  
>> avalanche
>> of emails that could suck up time that could be more productively  
>> used, I
>> should just point out that *no one* has presented data from a  
>> useful alt
>> study yet. That applies equally to people who believe the balance of
>> arguments weigh in favour of allowing alt to be omitted where no  
>> reasonable
>> alt test is avaliable /and/ those who believe it must always be  
>> present in
>> conforming documents.
>>
>>  Furthermore there is no reason that people with one of these  
>> opinions needs
>> to provide data whilst people with the other opinion do not. In  
>> particular
>> there is no reason to believe that because something was in HTML 4  
>> or is in
>> some other spec it should be subject to less scrutiny than new ideas.
>>
>>  Lastly, I do not understand why it is perceived as the  
>> responsibility of
>> the editor to do any study that other members of the group feel is  
>> required.
>> That expectation will not scale.
>>
>>  --
>>  "Mixed up signals
>>  Bullet train
>>  People snuffed out in the brutal rain"
>>  --Conner Oberst
>>
>
>
>
> -- 
> with regards
>
> Steve Faulkner
> Technical Director - TPG Europe
> Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium
>
> www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
> Web Accessibility Toolbar -
> http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
>
Received on Friday, 2 May 2008 16:23:03 GMT

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