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

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 20:08:57 -0700
Cc: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-id: <2B3CC7F6-8881-4F35-B508-06682C89CCC0@apple.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>

On Aug 16, 2009, at 7:27 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> On Aug 16, 2009, at 4:45 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>>> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>>
>>>> I don't see how trying to better understand the document  
>>>> constitutes an unreasonable burden of proof.
>>>
>>> No, but asking for people to justify[1] changes to a spec that has  
>>> not yet been determined to represent consensus does.
>> In a disagreement, everyone should be asked to justify their  
>> position.
>
> Agreed.
>
>> As I pointed out, the current spec text was given detailed  
>> justification[1] based on a great deal of often conflicting feedback.
>
> Do you believe that justification specifically addresses the three  
> points of differences you identified between Ian's and Steven's  
> documents?

Let's take the three points one at a time:

(2) The Consensus Resolutions document does allow <figure> <legend>  
like the spec, but it does not allow @title or a heading for an image- 
only section to describe an image. The current spec allows this, only  
in the case where the contents of the image are unknown.

- I believe the rationale I cited explained why the HTML5 spec offers  
some extra options for describe images in the case where the contents  
of the image are unknown. However, it's not clear to me if this  
difference is an explicit change request, which is why I asked for  
clarification first. Steve already clarified that some of the  
differences I identified were not deliberate.

(6) The Consensus Resolutions proposal recommends an explicit  
reference from HTML5 to WCAG 2.0.

- I don't believe Ian has given a reason for not referencing WCAG.  
Tentatively, my recommendation would be to add a citation of the  
latest WCAG for additional accessibility advice, in a general section  
such as the introduction or conformance criteria. WCAG provides  
additional advice on many features of the spec, and will likely be  
updated over time. But I'd like to verify that this satisfies the  
goals of those who would like to add a WCAG reference.

(7) The Consensus Resolutions document suggests that alt="" (empty  
alt) without role="presentation" on the same element should trigger a  
non-fatal validator warning that recommends adding role="presentation".

- I think Ian's justification explains why empty alt is a fine way to  
mark presentational images. I don't believe he anticipated this  
particular suggested warning, but I think it's reasonable to ask for  
motivation before analyzing the request. I believe Leif's feedback  
gives some good reasons why this warning is not a good idea. I also  
tentatively think it's not a good idea. But I don't want to reject it  
out of hand without understanding the motivation.


More generally, I think Ian justified what is currently in the spec,  
so it's reasonable to ask requests for changes to be backed up with  
some reasoning. It doesn't have to be extensive or detailed - I don't  
want to make it a procedural obstacle. But in these cases, a little  
explanation could go a long way towards reaching agreement.


>> I don't see what consensus has to do with anything.The lack of  
>> declared consensus does not make it any less appropriate to expect  
>> people to explain their positions.
>
> I was simply reacting to the fact that you were only asking one side  
> to document their rationale.  If Ian's previous answers anticipated  
> and already addressed the specific points of differences, then I  
> apologize.  Otherwise, I respectfully submit that everyone should be  
> asked to justify their position.

If the points of difference are clarified, and Ian disagrees, I will  
expect him to justify his position, and will ask him to do so if  
necessary. On the ARIA points, I believe he has already agreed.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Monday, 17 August 2009 03:09:44 GMT

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