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What is the value of conformance? (was RE: <font color="blue"> (was ISSUE-32))

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2009 15:03:22 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Jonas Sicking'" <jonas@sicking.cc>
Cc: "'Rob Sayre'" <rsayre@mozilla.com>, "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <050a01c9eba9$ba628930$2f279b90$@edu>
Jonas Sicking wrote:
>
> On Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 2:08 PM, John Foliot<jfoliot@stanford.edu>
wrote:
> >
> > Which brings *me* back to my ongoing question: why should we care
about
> > validity (conformance)?  Google doesn't and it does not seem to be
> > impeding them any.  It makes the discussion surrounding @summary et al
> > moot: if I continue to use @summary in an HTML5 the document it's
> > non-conforming.  So what?  It works for my intended audience, and that
> > trumps some ideal of conformance that seems to be almost meaningless
in
> > practice.  I get that it is "bad", but what does "bad" get me (vs.
what
> > being "good" will get me)?
>
> So what do you suggest we do?
>

In a perfect world, critical fail is that - critical (if your C+ code is
not conformant, when you go to compile, what happens?) But I've already
taken enough heat on that and the browser makers won't man-up to take that
stand.

Meanwhile, in HTML5, recognize _existing_ elements and attributes (flawed
or otherwise), state their conformance requirements, and let authors use
what they need to create conformant documents to the best of their
ability. (This BTW is why I 'voted' option 3 in Sam's straw poll - make
font color="blue" conformant cause you're gonna see it anyway... Accept
it, spec it, deal with it.)

Specifically regarding Web Accessibility, we've seen a systematic removal
of specialty features, intended primarily for accessibility, that have yet
to be properly understood and implemented "in the greater wild". Progress
is slow - I grant that - but it is no more a sign of failure of the
attributes than it is a sign of poor education. (the PF WG stated: "The
wider web is not an example of good practice.")  It took how many years
for web-standards based development to take hold? (and how much
non-standard crud is still being generated daily?)  I've said this every
which way but Tuesday: until such time as better methods emerge that
allows me to deliver the necessary functionality that certain "flawed"
attributes and elements deliver I'm gonna use them (whether or not HTML5
WG blesses them or not). So if conformance *is* important beyond the
theoretical... Accept it, spec it, deal with it. (And it should be noted
that currently the browsers *ARE* dealing with it, so all we need now is
acceptance and specs from the WG)

In a recent example, it was suggested that the better replacement for
@longdesc/aria-described by was:

	<figure><img ...><legend>A Caption. (<a href=longdesc.html
rel=longdesc>Read description</a>.)</legend></figure>
		[source:
http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/html-wg/20090611#l-78]

All that instead of: <img... longdesc="longdesc.html" />

I mean, seriously?  Does anybody really think that this will catch on in
the real world?  And if there is more than one image that requires longer
text descriptions? (scenario: web page that contains 4 pie graphs of data
metrics) we'll have 4 links to "Read Description"? Right....

Another proposal sees merging two distinct concepts, a table summary and a
table caption, and merging them together, cause they're almost the same -
just like a Lamborghini and a Dump Truck are almost the same (both have 4
wheels for example...)

Chaals said it earlier - propose better solutions, sure, but let both
co-exist and let the better man win. Tossing the baby out with the bath
water is pointless and harmful.

JF
Received on Friday, 12 June 2009 22:04:03 GMT

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