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

Re: alt - data and reason Re: One more thought...

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 14:28:36 +0200
To: "Laura Carlson" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org
Cc: "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>, faulkner.steve@gmail.com, hsivonen@iki.fi, mattmay@gmail.com
Message-ID: <op.ubj19ypzwxe0ny@1.116.205.85.in-addr.arpa>

On Mon, 19 May 2008 20:19:57 +0200, Laura Carlson  
<laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com> wrote:


> - Quantitative research often "forces" responses or people into
> categories that might not "fit" in order to make meaning.
> - Qualitative research, on the other hand, sometimes focuses too
> closely on individual results and fails to make connections to larger
> situations or possible causes and of the results.
>
> Research and data would be interesting to have, but what would it
> prove?

It won't prove anything. It might provide valuable insight.

> Either "quantitative" or "qualitative" [1] may reflect the
> interests of those conducting or benefiting from the research and the
> purposes for which the findings will be applied. Basing important
> decisions on either has drawbacks. Criterion, methodology, etc would
> be a huge bone of contention.

Indeed.

> AUWG and UAWG folks are the experts in this area who could provide
> real insight to the HTMLWG. Through PF, we have asked for their
> advice: "what should an authoring or publishing tool insert, in a case
> where no alt has been provided by the author, but the image is known
> to be 'critical content'?" [2]

That question has a clear answer: It should not include an alt attribute.

The question whose answer we don't know is much more technical:

"Does making the alt attribute required lead, more often, to people  
providing alt than they would otherwise have done, or does it lead more  
often to people providing bogus and therefore harmful alt in order to pass  
validation?"

> We need to wait for their answer. And we need to listen.

And to get a useful answer to that, we nede to ask it to people who are  
not taken up in this debate, and were probably only vaguely aware of these  
two different possibilities.

And yes, we then need to listen.

cheers

Chaals

-- 
Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals   Try Opera 9.5: http://snapshot.opera.com
Received on Thursday, 22 May 2008 12:29:43 UTC

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