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Re: Adaptive Image Element Proposal

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:14:12 -0500
Message-ID: <CAOavpvfCcvTbdmTPOKA-2MGtzx8EHaVBjr4kMvqbyUCmJP5cCQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Cc: Adrian Roselli <Roselli@algonquinstudios.com>, Mathew Marquis <mat@matmarquis.com>, Peter Winnberg <peter.winnberg@gmail.com>, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, "public-respimg@w3.org" <public-respimg@w3.org>
Hi Leif and all,

You wrote:
> I think that authors should be permitted to
> provide the fallback via markup as long if they want
> and know how to do it.

I am sure that authors would utilize general <picture> fallback for
all sorts of things unrelated to a text alternative, such as browser
support messages.

The word "fallback" was removed from the HTML5 alt definition in April
2011 per the HTMLWG decision on Issue 31. A textual equivalent is not
"fallback" (2nd class) content.

<picture> should use a native, meaningful, and semantic mechanism for
a SHORT and a LONG text alternative not general fallback. Semantic
elements and attributes provide a higher level of communication.
Communication is pretty much the point of language design. Lay people
looking only at how a page displays may never get that additional
communication, but machines can. Providing that extra meaning allows
machines to translate it for people.

Semantic HTML is important to authors because as John Allsopp has
explained, "We need mechanisms in HTML that clearly and unambiguously
enable developers to add richer, more meaningful semantics-not pseudo
semantics-to their markup. This is perhaps the single most pressing
goal for the HTML 5 project. But it's not as simple as coming up with
a mechanism to create richer semantics in HTML content: there are
significant constraints on any solution. Perhaps the biggest one is
backward compatibility. The solution can't break the hundreds of
millions of browsing devices in use today, which will continue to be
used for years to come. Any solution that isn't backward compatible
won't be widely adopted by developers for fear of excluding readers.
It will quickly wither on the vine." [1]

If the HTML Accessibility Task Force's endorsed change proposal for
HTML-ISSUE-203 [2] prevails, <video> will have both native, semantic
SHORT and LONG text alternative mechanisms in @alt and @longdesc. The
Responsive Images Community Group would do well to follow that issue
as well as HTML Issue-30.

Best Regards,
Laura

[1] http://www.alistapart.com/articles/semanticsinhtml5
[2] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposal/Issue203
Received on Monday, 10 September 2012 16:14:45 GMT

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