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

From: Jan Richards <jan.richards@utoronto.ca>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 09:33:26 -0400
Message-ID: <4A8D50A6.2060004@utoronto.ca>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Hi Henri,

Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Aug 20, 2009, at 15:06, Jan Richards wrote:
> 
>> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>>> Given enough rope, Web authors do the wildest things for the craziest 
>>> reasons. However, here's a plausible non-crazy failure scenario:
>>> Author A creates a document using an authoring tool and fails to make 
>>> the document accessible. The authoring tool inserts the "ignore" 
>>> marker. Later, author B in author A's organization addresses the 
>>> problem that the document is inaccessible. Author B adds sensible alt 
>>> text using a text editor. While author B has read introductions to 
>>> Web accessibility to know about alt, author B isn't aware of the 
>>> finer points of HTML syntax and fails to remove the "ignore" marker. 
>>> Now the document is still inaccessible in UAs that honor the "ignore" 
>>> marker. Author B could even test the document in older UAs without 
>>> noticing the problem.
>>
>> I see. Perhaps this could be addressed somewhat by advising authoring 
>> tools to automatically undo the "missing" mechanism if an author edits 
>> the @alt value.
> 
> That author B uses a text editor and not an HTML-aware authoring tool is 
> a key part of the scenario. I think it's a realistic key part.
> 
> The way to mitigate this is to make only validators and authoring tools 
> sensitive to the "missing" marker and not to make browsers/AT sensitive 
> to it at all.

I agree re: validators and authoring tools.

For browsers and ATs I'd suggest they look at the @alt value and 
"missing" mechanism together. If @alt="" or " " and "missing"=TRUE then 
it's probably a good idea for UAs/ATs to trust the "missing" and attempt 
a repair (e.g., by looking at the file name, etc.). If @alt has a longer 
value and "missing"=TRUE then users might have an option setting to view 
the @alt value anyway.

Cheers,
Jan
Received on Thursday, 20 August 2009 13:34:06 GMT

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