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

Re: alt and authoring practices

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 12:58:30 +0000
Message-Id: <827796C9-CBC1-4292-9E6C-E3AE0F6E2D1E@robburns.com>
To: "HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>" <public-html@w3.org>


On May 4, 2008, at 2:01 AM, Smylers wrote:

> Acepting that would be _lowering_ the standard of alt text required
> from that in the current HTML 5 draft, which currently insists on a
> proper alternative.  I don't think lowering the level of acceptable
> alt text like this would be an improvement to accessibility.

Yes, it diminishes what @alt is used for compared to the HTML5 draft.  
However, it improves @alt by brining it at least back to current best  
practice (if not better since we have an opportunity to improve up on  
current practice). The problem with the current draft is it tries to  
collapse multiple semantics into one attribute and then make that  
attribute optional Both steps make the situation worse for  
accessibility. Once we decide to take one of the steps then we have a  
raging debate over whether the other step could improve or diminish  
accessibility.

The point is that we shouldn't take both of those steps. We should  
instead maintain the separate mechanisms (@alt, file metadata  
descriptions, described-by / longdesc referenced document fragments).  
Then the commitment of maintaining @alt as mandatory is easy to make.  
No one has yet presented a use case for collapsing these mechanisms  
into a single  already misunderstood  attribute.

Smylers, you should take a step back and think about this debate. I'm  
trying to tell you that you're not understanding the other position,  
and you're response is to to nitpick about one phrase or another.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Sunday, 4 May 2008 13:19:33 UTC

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