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

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 03:16:02 +0100
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20080504021602.GF11992@stripey.com>

Daniel Glazman writes:

> Smylers wrote:
> 
> > > 3. when I read something like "When the alt attribute is missing,
> > >    the image represents a key part of the content. Non-visual user
> > >    agents should apply image analysis heuristics to help the user
> > >    make sense of the image.", I can't believe my eyes...
> >
> > Why?  That sounds entirely plausible to me.
> 
> Plausible and not implementable.

Maybe that's why it's only a 'should'.  I'm sceptical as to how
successful user-agents will be at divining meaning into unknown images
-- but given that this data simply doesn't exist anywhere, a user-agent
is in as good a position as anything else in the chain to have a go at
it.

> A conformance checker will never know what precisely is author's
> intent.

Yes.  I gave examples with <dfn> and <h1> which could be wrong but which
a mechnical conformance checker would be unable detect.  What else can
we do?

> And I don't expect non-visual user agents to implement such image
> analysis heuristics just because spec authors think they'll do it.

Me neither.  But even if they don't, people are _still_ going to
bulk-upload photos to websites without putting meaningful descriptions
on each of them.  We could choose to designate all such sites as not
being valid HTML 5 -- but that doesn't actually help image-less users to
learn what's in the photos.

> > I could be persuaded to change my mind by arguments on merit; but merely
> > stating that you can't believe why other people don't agree with you
> > doesn't really move us on.
> 
> I have no time for rhetorics.

Good -- let's stick to technical merits then!

> Just the fact the alt section is what it is today - and why it is what
> it is today - scares me to death about the whole html5 doc.  Reminds
> me of the other "kill the style attribute" crazyness.

It doesn't scare me.  But I don't see how how scared each of us are
(but, for what it's worth: please don't die!) helps work out the best
thing to do for HTML 5.

Smylers
Received on Sunday, 4 May 2008 02:16:49 GMT

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