W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > April 2008

Re: [html4all] several messages about alt

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 03:58:07 +0200
Message-ID: <4802BA2F.2030009@malform.no>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: HTML4All <list@html4all.org>, Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Henri Sivonen 08-04-13 20.57:     
> Apr 13, 2008, at 18:33, Leif Halvard Silli:
>> If we formalise that the first step of validation/conformance 
>> checking, namely the checking of whether images have the correct alt 
>> text and are used in the right way, if tables have summary, and so on 
>> and so forth, as a step that must be done by the author/webmaster, 
>> then your product could be allowed to check only the more formal 
>> points -
> An automated tool becomes less automated if it starts giving more and 
> more messages of the nature "Please check yourself if you are 
> violating rule foo here." If you take it to absurdity, the tool should 
> ask the user to verify the semantic correctness of the use of each 
> element and attribute.

Well, I thought about it this way: If the author has "stamped" it 
himself - with regard to the not machine-checable things, then the 
validator do not need to give all those messages that you mention.

>> Henri Sivonen 08-04-13 10.55:

> The validator 

Conformance checker,

> I develop is not a stamping tool. [...]

So no "Valid" icons from Validator.nu.

>> The W3 HTML checker has always done a small bit of accessiblity 
>> checking , and that is part of why people want to check their pages 
>> in that validator. To offer a checker as a same kind of prestiged 
>> checker as the current W3 tool, without incorporating some basic 
>> accessibility checking, would be a bit like stealing goodwill from a 
>> wholly different kind of tool.
> I'm pretty sure I haven't advertised Validator.nu in a way that stole 
> goodwill deceptively.
> Please let me know if you find bogus claims in Validator.nu 
> documentation, UI or advertising. Unfortunately, I can't fully stop 
> people from transferring bogus impressions created by others onto 
> their preconceptions about Validator.nu.

I guess I may have looked at it as "Validator 5".

I now understand that it was never meant to be. However, I also 
understand/get the impression that you want your validator to be an 
example of what validator.w3.org should be.

> Aside: I'm not a big fan of "prestige", "gravitas" and words of that 
> nature that keep popping up in accessibility debates where appeals to 
> authority are made.

Did I refer to prestige as a kind of "appeal to authority"? Do you 
disagree in that Validator.w3.org has prestige? If you want, we can 
discuss whether it should have prestige, but that is another matter.

My impression of my own argument was the complete opposite: We hear so 
much about cowpaths and what people generally do etc, so I thought I 
would allow myself the same kind of argument.

It is very well, indeed, that you are accurate about what validator.nu 
checks for. My point was to say that people have expectations about what 
the W3 validator does.

(And I shall to become more familiar with English jargong before you 
hear me use words like "gravitas" and other outlandish terms.)
>> For the second, the "unready" stamp does not conflate those two 
>> things. It helps keeping them apart. And allows an HTML 5 conformance 
>> checker to give a definitive 'Yes', when the author has done his 
>> part. And it raises the consciousness about the fact that writing 
>> HTML documents is a process.
> Software can't give a definitive yes.

Software is able to insert the word 'yes'.

Or as you said yourself: "An automated tool becomes less automated if it 
starts giving more and more messages [...]
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 14 April 2008 01:58:59 UTC

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