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RE: some reflections on @alt usage

From: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 12:15:55 -0700
To: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "'Al Gilman'" <Alfred.S.Gilman@ieee.org>, "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000701c903c2$5c4b5770$9e3c42ab@stanford.edu>

Ian Hickson wrote:
 
> Indeed; I didn't mean it in any way as a slight towards you, merely a
> reminder that we have to base our decisions on the actual results of
> research rather than our opinions.
[http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Aug/0137.html]

Thank you so much Ian - this is indeed an important point for all of us to
remember.  

**********
In an earlier response to Al Gilman's "Some Reflections on @Alt Usage", a
few exchanges between Al and Ian are worthy of note:

A.G.
> No.  There is no objective importance.  Importance is for the user to
> revise as they browse the page.

I.H.
I disagree. Regardless of whether the photo is in focus or not, anyone 
going to a photo's flickr page is always intending to look at that page's 
photo.

(JF - Always? Research please... You have the right to disagree, to hold an
opinion, however at this time it is but one opinion...)

"...we have to base our decisions on the actual results of research rather
than our opinions..."
Ian Hickson:
[http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Aug/0137.html]

**********

I.H.
We're talking about what HTML5 should require of such authors.

So far there have been three proposals for handling these cases:
   <snip>
I'm leaning towards going back to the first of these.

(JF - based upon what reasoning?  What research?)

"...we have to base our decisions on the actual results of research rather
than our opinions..."
Ian Hickson:
[http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Aug/0137.html]

**********
I.H.
> > This is so diametrically opposed to my own experiences that I would
> > need significantly more evidence of this to be convinced of it. Do you 
> > have any research you could show to demonstrate this remarkable 
> > assertion?

A.G.
> This sounds as though your intuition is conditioned by your own
> experience, and not from listening to blind or dyslexic users, or the 
> teachers of severly learning disabled people.

I.H.
Do you have or know of any research you could show to demonstrate this 
remarkable assertion that duplicating information improves accessibility? 

(JF - Do *you* have any research that contradicts Al's informed assertion?)

I.H.
Asking me to speak to other experts is still an argument based on 
authority and not an argument based on research.

("This is so diametrically opposed to my own experiences..." - a bit of a
double standard here, no?)

I.H.
Surely for such a major finding, there has been extensive documented
research.

(JF - Perhaps, perhaps not, however Ian's "own experiences" cannot be the
sole arbitrator here can it?  Ian, where is *your* research?  What makes
*your* expert opinion any more valid than Al's expert opinion in the absence
of hard data?  Surely Al's area of expertise would convince many that his
opinion has more anecdotal weight than yours simply because he would have
more of that kind of experience than you)

"...we have to base our decisions on the actual results of research rather
than our opinions..."
Ian Hickson:
[http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Aug/0137.html]

**********

I.H.
Indeed, I would posit that in any case where an image represents something 
for which there is no suitable replacement text...

"POSIT: to assume or affirm the existence of: postulate; to propose as an
explanation: suggest" 
[Merriam-Webster http://tinyurl.com/65aqhm]  

(So, you "assume or propose as an explanation" based upon what exactly?
Surely not just your opinion?)

"...we have to base our decisions on the actual results of research rather
than our opinions..."
Ian Hickson:
[http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Aug/0137.html]

**********

JF
Received on Thursday, 21 August 2008 19:16:58 UTC

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