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

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 13:59:00 -0700
To: Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>
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>
Message-ID: <20080527205900.GA19704@pickering.dbaron.org>

On Tuesday 2008-05-27 10:20 -0700, Matt Morgan-May wrote:
> On 5/26/08 5:59 PM, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org> wrote:
> > 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.
> 
> By this logic, Flickr, et al., would never have existed in the first place,
> since @alt is mandatory today.

Today flickr serves photos with alt="" on photo pages and alt="Photo
Title" on listing pages, which is:
 * conformant to HTML4
 * not conformant to current drafts of HTML5
 * not useful, since if alt is used as a replacement for the image:
   + alt="" makes it appear that there is nothing there
   + alt="Photo Title" duplicates content already in the page

> And yet, last I checked, it does. Standards
> are not laws, and you will not be legislating anything out of existence by
> leaving @alt mandatory.

I don't think we should use "standards are not laws" as an excuse
for adding conformance requirements that we neither expect nor want
people to meet.  Unreasonable requirements can reduce respect for
and conformance to the standard as a whole.

And just because standards aren't laws doesn't mean people aren't
obligated to follow them, whether by contract, government purchasing
regulations, or simply the desire to do the right thing.

(And just because something hasn't been a law in the past doesn't
mean it won't be in the future.)

> Furthermore, I've been around for most of the web's history, and I can't
> think of a single case where disability groups have demanded, or asked, or
> even intimated, that new web technologies or paradigms _must not be
> developed_ before they are fully accessible. That would make this argument a
> strawman.

OK, I agree that that part of the argument was a bit of a stretch,
although I don't think it's inconceivable that it could happen.  But
I think the original point still stands.

-David

-- 
L. David Baron                                 http://dbaron.org/
Mozilla Corporation                       http://www.mozilla.com/
Received on Tuesday, 27 May 2008 20:59:53 GMT

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