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Re: Is Flickr an Edge Case? (was Re: HTML Action Item 54)

From: Karl Groves <karl.groves@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 18:00:45 -0700 (PDT)
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Andrew Sidwell <w3c@andrewsidwell.co.uk>, John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>, public-html@w3.org, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org, HTML4All <list@html4all.org>, Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>
Message-ID: <14142755.157951211590845050.JavaMail.root@mail.ff44a.com>

----- "Maciej Stachowiak" <mjs@apple.com> wrote:

> On May 23, 2008, at 3:56 PM, Matt Morgan-May wrote:
> 
> >
> > On 5/22/08 10:33 AM, "Andrew Sidwell" <w3c@andrewsidwell.co.uk>
> wrote:
> >>> Well then, making @alt optional in the edge case of Flickr or an 
> 
> >>> inkblot
> >>> test is then moot.  Those edge cases will remain non-conformant, 
> 
> >>> and @alt as
> >>> a mandatory requirement is a sealed deal, as optimising for edge 
> 
> >>> cases is
> >>> not a reasonable thing to do.
> >>
> >> Flickr is hardly an edge case.
> >
> > On the contrary: Flickr is the _ultimate_ edge case.
> 
> Flickr is an extremely popular site with millions of web pages. Look 
> 
> at the Alexa Global Top 500:
> 
> http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?ts_mode=global&lang=none
> 
> I see the following obvious photo sharing sites:
> 
> #26 Photobucket
> #34 ImageShack
> #39 Flickr
> #57 Fotolog
> #59 ImageVenue
> #84 Metroflog
> #100 wretch.cc
> 
> And the following social networks with photo galler features:
> 
> #6 Myspace
> #8 FaceBook
> #11 Orkut
> #40 Friendster
> #56 LiveJournal
> 
> Clearly photo sharing is one of the most popular activities on the  
> web. It is not an edge case but rather a major use case that should be
>  
> given significant consideration.
> 
> Regards,
> Maciej

According to a NetCraft Survey, there are 165,719,150 sites out there [1].  Your list of major photo-sharing websites is hardly a drop in the WorldWide bucket, as it were.

Using the same Alexa data you cite, Flickr has a 3 mo. average reach of 1.706% of web users[2].
While 1.706% is certainly very respectable, given the context,  it *is* still only 1.706%.

This whole conversation about Flickr is a red herring anyway and all of these back & forth messages about it are detracting from the real issue: Failure to provide alternate text is a violation of every accessibility standard in existence. If this WG intends to work out a way to mark an image in a way that says, in essence, "alternate text isn't available or wouldn't be useful", then by all means continue the debate in that context.  Red herring arguments about how popular a particular site is really isn't very productive and certainly hasn't lead to any useful solutions to the problem.

[1] http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html
[2] http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/flickr.com

Karl Groves
Senior Accessibility Consultant
SSB BART Group 
karl.groves@ssbbartgroup.com
703.637.8961 (o) 
443.889.8763 (c)
http://www.ssbbartgroup.com

Accessibility-On-Demand
Received on Saturday, 24 May 2008 01:09:25 UTC

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