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Re: feedback requested on WAI CG Consensus Resolutions on Text alternatives in HTML 5 document

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 10:51:28 -0400
Message-ID: <4A881CF0.6020502@intertwingly.net>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Aug 15, 2009, at 15:52, Steven Faulkner wrote:
>> as part of my work on http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/actions/131, 
>> to progress towards consensus by the html wg on the contents of the 
>> html 5 specification in regards to text alternatives, it would be 
>> helpful to get feedback from you and other interested people on the  
>> 'WAI CG Consensus Resolutions on Text alternatives in HTML 5' 
>> documenthttp://www.w3.org/2009/06/Text-Alternatives-in-HTML5
> I noticed that your question was addressed to Ian and CCed to public 
> lists, but I'll go ahead and reply myself anyway:
> I previously asked for clarifications on the WAI CG consensus:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2009Jul/0057.html
> However, I didn't get further replies after:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2009Jul/0087.html
> Therefore, I'd like to reiterate the following point:
> I think it doesn't make sense to evaluate the statement of consensus in 
> isolation of knowing what ATAG 2.0 or its accompanying documents are 
> going to recommend to developers of HTML5 editors.
> I think the following procedure should be followed:
>  1) Find out how browser/AT combinations behave given various 
> combinations of <img>, alt, lack of alt, empty alt, aria-label, title, 
> aria-describedby, etc.
>  2) Given the existing client behaviors discovered at step #1, develop 
> authoring tool guidance for different scenarios of the authoring tool 
> user being cooperative and uncooperative. In particular, develop 
> guidance on what markup and authoring tool must emit when the user 
> doesn't provide text alternatives (for whatever reason).
>  3) Adjust the HTML 5 specification so that following the guidance 
> developed in step #2 doesn't render the output document of the editor 
> invalid, because it would be non-sensical for one spec to tell authoring 
> tool developers "do X" and another to tell "don't do X" and making some 
> syntax invalid would make some tool vendors avoid the syntax even if 
> doing so lead to a worse outcome considering step #1. (Note that 
> defining a markup construct as invalid by definition means that 
> authoring tools must not emit that markup construct.)
>  4) Adjust validators to comply with the result of step #3, so that 
> output from tools complying with guidance from step #2 isn't reported as 
> invalid.
>  5) Provide optional diagnostic help for validator users who wish to 
> evaluate text alternatives or lack thereof in a way that doesn't 
> motivate authoring tool vendors to fail to comply with the guidance from 
> step #2. (Consider the Image Report feature of Validator.nu.)
> As far as I can tell, the WAI Consensus jumps to step #3 leaving step #2 
> unclear.

Item #3 begs the question as to whether or not the current proposal in 
Ian's Editor's Draft is the result of consensus.  It also presumes that 
invalidating one spec by another is not best practice, something that 
the current HTML5 draft does in a number of occasions.

And the suggestions above (and by that, I mean the whole list: items 1 
through 5) would seem like a more credible proposal if you could point 
to a consolidated place where the current differences between the CG 
Consensus Resolution and the HTML Working Draft have followed the above 

Steven Faulkner posted a resolution.  I will note the following responses:

1) Ian Hickson[1][2]: "I don't understand"
2) Maciej Stachowiak [3][4][5]: "The material differences ... are"
3) Henri Sivonen [6]: "the following procedure should be followed"

Between the three of you, nobody has provided any feedback on the 
resolution itself.  Collectively, you are suggesting a burden of proof 
that you are not ready, willing, and able to meet yourselves[7][8].

By contrast others, like Leif Halvard Silli actually have provided 

- Sam Ruby

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0803.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0807.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0809.html
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0811.html
[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0828.html
[6] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0832.html
[7] http://intertwingly.net/blog/2008/11/20/Half-Full#c1227317561
[8] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Aug/0054.html
[9] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/0816.html
Received on Sunday, 16 August 2009 14:52:15 UTC

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