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Re: HTML Action Item 54 - ...draft text for HTML 5 spec to require producers/authors to include @alt on img elements.

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 15:04:52 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80805210704j47146a44nc33a6fa74e448615@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org

Hi Ian,
I really would like to know why you have included a conformance
requirement in the spec, that is impossible to check without having to
talk to the author?

You talk about the provision of a text alternative being impractical,
what about the ability to check the conformance of a HTML5 document
being highly impratical?

regards
stevef

On 21/05/2008, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Ian, thanks for your illuminating response,
> it appears that, the "requirement" in the spec for a text alternative
> is not actually a "requirement" at all, since
> "It is mostly up to the author to determine when the case goes from
> one to the other"
> and if the author decides that providing a text alternative for any
> image(s) is impractical, then the document is conforming.
>
> >That's just the way things are; making
> > alternative text required without addressing this fundamental problem is
> > an ostrich approach to solving accessibility.
>
> If it were the only approach it may well be as you describe, but the
> approach has many prongs, including WCAG, ATAG, UAAG all of which
> provide a co-ordinated approach to different aspects of accessibility
> issues. Making the provision of a text alternative, be it via the alt
> attribute or some other mechanism, such as the legend element or
> aria-describedby or aria-labelledby or another mechanism [1] & [2],
> would both provide HTML5 with a method to prescibe conformance in line
> with other W3C specifications and provide an answer to those use cases
>  that are seen as problematic.
>
>
> [1]http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Feb/0006.html
> [2]http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Feb/0008.html
>
> stevef
>
> 2008/5/21 Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>:
> > On Wed, 21 May 2008, Steven Faulkner wrote:
> >> >
> >> > Note that the HTML5 spec as written today _does_ require the alt=""
> >> > attribute when it is at all possible to include it.
> >>
> >> So does Anne's seminal HTML5 example of not including a text alternative
> >> using the alt attribute [1], and reasoning [2] for not providing text
> >> alternatives, result in conformant HTML5 or not?
> >>
> >> [1] http://anne.is.weggeweest.nl/image-viewer#2006,boston,9
> >> [2] http://annevankesteren.nl/2007/09/alt
> >
> > If it was possible for Anne to include alternative text, then it should be
> > included. I can't tell whether this is a case of that or not because the
> > image viewer in question doesn't work on the browser I tested it with (so
> > there are much, much bigger accessibility problems for me on that site
> > than whether the image has alt text or not).
> >
> > If an author doesn't provide alternative text because he doesn't care to,
> > then the document isn't conforming. If an author doesn't provide
> > alternative text because doing so wouldn't be practical, then the document
> > is conforming, but violates a "should", and conformance checkers should
> > probably give warnings to that effect. It is mostly up to the author to
> > determine when the case goes from one to the other. In practice, providing
> > useful alternative text for photographs is non-trivial and so such effort
> > can quickly become impratical. That's just the way things are; making
> > alternative text required without addressing this fundamental problem is
> > an ostrich approach to solving accessibility.
> >
> > --
> > Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
> > http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
> > Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
> >
>
>
>
> --
> 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
>


-- 
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 Wednesday, 21 May 2008 14:06:04 GMT

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