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

From: Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 15:18:43 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <32803178.1211915923162.JavaMail.root@elwamui-little.atl.sa.earthlink.net>
To: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>, "'L. David Baron'" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Cc: 'Maciej Stachowiak' <mjs@apple.com>, 'Karl Groves' <karl.groves@ssbbartgroup.com>, 'Andrew Sidwell' <w3c@andrewsidwell.co.uk>, 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>

FWIW - I completely agree with John Foliot clear statement about the essense of the issue here.

Katie Haritos-Shea

-----Original Message-----
>From: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
>Sent: May 27, 2008 1:36 PM
>To: "'L. David Baron'" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
>Cc: 'Maciej Stachowiak' <mjs@apple.com>, 'Karl Groves' <karl.groves@ssbbartgroup.com>, 'Andrew Sidwell' <w3c@andrewsidwell.co.uk>, 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>
>Subject: RE: Is Flickr an Edge Case? (was Re: HTML Action Item 54)
>
>
>L. David Baron wrote:
>> 
>> Applying all the requirements we apply to mass media to content
>> creation for small audiences doesn't make sense.  We have to consider
>> the costs and benefits of meeting these requirements.  If we enforce
>> them on everyone, one thing we'll do is force a lot of this content
>> off of the Web entirely, which would make it accessible to much fewer
>> people.     
>
>This is not what is being debated here however.  What is being suggested is
>that the technical specification be written to open a loop-hole that so far
>has been closed: images must contain @alt if they are to be deemed
>conformant.  That millions of images lack @alt, or a valuable @alt value is
>not open to discussion - I will concur that they exist.  This alone is not a
>reason to reverse the course and suggest that it's somehow OK, so we'll
>re-write the spec to say that it is.  It's not.  Since the current penalty
>for not having @alt is... NOTHING... I cannot see how the new spec helps
>anyone save those who want conformant code without doing all that is
>required to ensure conformance.
>
>We are talking about a technical specification here: black and white rules
>that establish how to be conformant.  Sites and authors will then chose to
>be conformant or be non-conformant.  Sites such as Flickr - if they *want*
>to be conformant, will do what they can to ensure that from a "code"
>perspective they are outputting correct code: if a code fragment requires a
>string from an external author, that is beyond their control, but if the
>conformance requirement exists that an attribute must exist, they can at
>least ensure that the placeholder exists and a means to provide a value for
>that attribute is present.
>
>Today, for a web page to be "conformant" the specification calls for a DTD.
>No DTD, not conformant.  Yet Google's pages have no DTD, and their web pages
>"work" just fine: Google made a choice and that is theirs to make, but since
>arguably *the* most visited webpage on the internet today is non-conformant,
>then why are we insisting, even in HTML 5, for a DTD?
>
>There is no "technical" reason to reverse the requirement for a mandatory
>@alt save that it makes it easier to have conformant pages.  It does nothing
>to improve accessibility, it does nothing to enhance or improve the next
>generation of HTML, it does nothing for the very people who most need to
>have a textual alternative to an image.  If, as suggested, most photos are
>viewed by a very few (your telephone analogy), then what is wrong with
>adding alt="" to those millions of images viewed by the very few?  The whole
>argument falls flat on it's face.
>
>JF
>
>
>


* katie *

Katie Haritos-Shea 
Section 508 Technical Policy Analyst

703-371-5545

People may forget exactly what it was that you said or did, 
but they will never forget how you made them feel.......
Received on Tuesday, 27 May 2008 19:19:47 UTC

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