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Re: alt crazyness (Re: alt and authoring practices)

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 14:56:21 +0100
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20080503135621.GD23967@stripey.com>

Olivier GENDRIN writes:

> Perhps we could have a look at
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#conformance-claims ?

I've broken this out from the rest of your message because it's an
interesting point and I think worthy of wider readership.

That has two levels of conformance, with a 'partial conformance'
exception for included external content.  Are you suggesting something
similar for HTML 5?  They could something like (where level 2 is a
higher standard than level 1):

  2 This webpage completely conforms to the HTML 5 standard.

  1 This webpage conforms to the HTML 5 standard except that it includes
    unknown images from external sources for which we are unable to
    provide alterternative text.

Except that for 'level 1' conformance the presence of unknown external
images shouldn't give the author free reign for the alt attribute; to
conform they should still use the syntax which specifically marks an
image as being unknown.  So level 1 is more like:

  1 This webpage conforms to the HTML 5 standard except that it includes
    unknown images from external sources for which we are unable to
    provide alterternative text; for these images the webpage conforms
    to the standard by omitting the alt attribute.

Except that that's oxymoronic: the omitted alt attributes (or whatever
syntax is chosen; that discussion is orthognal to this point) can't be
both an exception to the standard and conforming with it.  And given
that the HTML 5 standard covers what to do here, it's 'part' of the
standard -- but we don't want level 2 to be allowed to use that bit of
the standard.

Hmmm, so how about instead the levels are:

  2 This webpage conforms to HTML 5, and doesn't make use of the
    provision for including unknown images from external sources.

  1 This webpage conforms to HTML 5.

But actually I think that'd be better as:

  2 This webpage conforms to HTML 5 and WCAG 2.

  1 This webpage conforms to HTML 5.

When there's a whole standard on accessibility, why single out just one
bit to conform to?  Let's instead strive to conform to all of it.

But however this is phrased I agree that 2 levels of conformance is the
way to go.

Cheers.

Smylers
Received on Saturday, 3 May 2008 13:57:08 GMT

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