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Re: [html4all] Unready and social engineering Re: several messages about alt

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 10:41:03 +0100
Message-ID: <480326AF.3020602@cfit.ie>
To: HTML4All <list@html4all.org>
Cc: Dannii <curiousdannii@gmail.com>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

**am v busy today so am replying briefly to some points, please forgive 
random presentation and apologies in advance if I quote anyone out of 

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> The HTML  
> specification determines what needs to be done to make a document  
> interoperable. For some known classes of users, interoperability relies on  
> (and for some more classes is greatly improved by) being able to strip the  
> document down to a non-graphic interpretation. This should be clarified by  
> the specification.

A happy by product of that would be elements whose relationships would 
be more programmatically determined, possibly improved semantic 
descriptions etc. This will of course enhance accessibility.

Also as Chaals mentions validity is still only on the radar of a 
minority of developers but the *message* that validity is important and 
the tools such as validators have an impact on improving the web. Even 
thought the web is built on broken code. Also WCAG etc sets the 
*standard* by which accessibility compliance is judged, and of course 
many fall short but thats not so important as having a clear goal to aim 

This is a part of my concerns with @alt, how making it optional will be 
perceived, but I have said that before. Examples given such as the 
Inkblot tests are disingenuous, as I don't believe that images are 
indescribable and that should be a rational for not using @alt. However, 
there are cases where @alt just may not be needed at all. The issue is 
how this omission will be dealt with by UAs, the behaviour that the lack 
of @alt will trigger . So on one level this is a user agent issue. [1]

> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> On Apr 14, 2008, at 09:49, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>>> On Mon, 14 Apr 2008 02:44:02 +0200, Dannii <curiousdannii@gmail.com> 
>>> wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 1:33 AM, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no> 
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Those are different evaluation axes. But experience has shown us 
>>>>> that the only validation that authors care about is the general CSS 
>>>>> and HTML stamps.
>>> Hmmm. Experience shows that there are people who care about other 
>>> stamps, including accessibility ones. It also shows comprehensively 
>>> that all of these together are still, with teh Web almost two decades 
>>> old, things that only a small minority of developers care about.
>> However, caring about getting a badge too often is caring about getting 
>> a badge--not caring about accessibility. Seeking to exploit people's 
>> desire to brag with a badge leads to them gaming a validator to get a 
>> badge (see A List Apart articles about custom DTDs, etc.). It doesn't 
>> magically make them author pages that are actually accessible.

It would be good if passing validation tests did equal accessible 
webpages but it doesn't. However it does show that if they are valid 
they are more likely to be accessible. As the tools advance this 
relationship may develop a greater correlation as opposed to validation 
being more of an outlier value.



[1] http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/articles/altinhtml5.html#apply1
Received on Monday, 14 April 2008 09:41:47 UTC

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