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Re: R: NEW: Issue #1544

From: Matt May <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 11:08:06 -0700
Message-ID: <42FCE586.1090808@bestkungfu.com>
To: 'WAI-GL' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I think the entire discussion of validity vis--vis <embed> is missing 
the point. The <embed> element is still around in HTML 4.01 and XHTML 
1.x, and will be forever. We simply can't wish it away. It's the last 
invalid element in common use today, and none of the debate so far has 
been focused on whether or not this is a bad thing for accessibility -- 
merely that it fails validity, which has yet to gain consensus as a 
basic accessibility requirement. (I'm pretty sure that we're still 
working toward accessibility to users with disabilities, right?)

Is there a strong accessibility case to be made for allowing <embed>? 
Yes: there is no known technique that remains valid (i.e., uses 
<object>) _and_ offers ATs access to the internal accessibility features 
of Flash. The ATs don't handle <object> correctly. Now, we can shake our 
fists at the ATs and force validity anyway, but we'd be ignoring the 
elephant in the room, _and_ actively damaging Flash accessibility. The 
all-or-nothing validity approach simply does not work here.

The <object> and <embed> elements have been used together for quite some 
time to deal with Microsoft/Netscape conflicts. It seems that's a 
reasonable approach today. If a custom DTD is necessary, that might be 
okay too, though I doubt many people would use it.

Received on Friday, 12 August 2005 18:08:15 UTC

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