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Re: Flickr and alt

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 20:49:24 +0200
Message-ID: <48AB15B4.5040704@malform.no>
To: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
CC: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, wai-xtech@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Gez Lemon 2008-08-19 02.38:

> Hi Patrick,
> 
>> The problem, it seems, is that the pain (failed validation?) won't
>> automatically result in the correct behaviour (providing relevant @alt), but
>> only in the minimum effort required to make the pain go away (putting
>> *anything* into @alt, even adding a null @alt, just to get the thumbs-up
>> from the validator).
> 
> That's a good point, but it would be tragic if conformance
> requirements were lowered to satisfy validators. Maybe the
> conversation should be based around conformance, rather than
> validation. Validators are easily fooled, and when they're the sole
> method of quality assurance, aiming to please validators is likely to
> result in a poorer experience - particularly from an accessibility
> viewpoint, as the nature of ensuring content is suitable for humans
> means that very little can be automated.

It seems to me that the understanding of conformance versus 
validation could be improved by requiring the role="" attribute, 
and have spesific @alt requirements for each role.

I think that "privat-photo-in-private-photo-album" would be a fine 
role descripition for many Flickr photos, and I think that IMG 
elements with such roles, should have lower alt-requirements than 
should e.g. role="text-image".

It would be possible to achieve validation by tagging all IMG 
elements witih role="decoration" and using alt="". However, it 
would be simple to understand that such a use would not be a 
conforming use.

I also think that if we see Flickr as a publication tool -- which 
I to some degree think we should (many such sites can be built 
into one's own private web site etc) -- then it could offer 
different roles depending on how "public" the author/user chooses 
to be or how he want to use them. And thus also offer different 
requirements/options for specifying the @alt text. (Politicians 
etc might these days subsribe to Facebook etc.)

I don't think that what I describe here would be lowering any 
requirements. It would, however, make the requirements more accurate.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 18:50:13 GMT

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