W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2010

ISSUE-66 Change Proposal: no change

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 10:44:42 +0000 (UTC)
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1003091003580.21367@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>

SUMMARY

There is no problem and the proposed remedy is to change nothing.


RATIONALE

There is no problem.

One other change proposal says that no technology exists to convert images 
to text. However, this is not true; for example OCR technology has existed 
for decades and is widely available in both commercial off-the-shelf and 
open-source packages.

That other change proposal also suggests that the spec might make it 
unclear that authors should be the ones that give alternative text, rather 
than automated tools. However, to draw such a conclusion one would have to 
ignore the pages and pages of detailed instructions on how authors must 
write alternative text, and one would have to ignore a big warning placed 
immediately adjacent to the controversial paragraph asserting in no 
uncertain terms that "authors must not rely on such behaviour".

That other change proposal further suggests that we should not suggest to 
implementors that they help users understand images, because they will do 
so without prompting. However, this would be inconsistent with the style 
of the specification, which is to be explicit about everything and to 
leave nothing to chance, especially not something as important as 
accessibility.

Another change proposal suggests that not including more detail would be 
missing out on an opportunity to increase competition in the field. 
However, there's no reason to go overboard; just mentioning one simple and 
unambiguously possible technique like OCR should be enough.


DETAILS

Change nothing.


IMPACT

POSITIVE EFFECTS

Leaving the text in will encourage implementors to explore the boundaries 
of alternative text repair techniques, increasing the overall 
accessibility of the Web over time.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS

Leaving the text without change might fail to highlight possible future 
work, such as performing landmark recognition or facial recognition in 
photographs, reducing the chances that an implementor will investigate 
these groundbreaking image analysis techniques in the context of 
alternative text repair.

CONFORMANCE CLASS CHANGES

None.

RISKS

It is suggested that mentioning that user agents might be able to repair 
non-conforming pages could make authors less likely to write conforming 
pages, though it is not clear why this would apply here and not in the 
many other parts of the spec that mention repair techniques, especially 
the sections that explicitly mandate specific user agent repair 
techniques.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 9 March 2010 10:45:13 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:17:05 GMT