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Re: [html4all] HTML5 Alternative Text, and Authoring Tools

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 10:46:07 +0100
Message-ID: <e2a28a920805150246j646ae603vccce525e301cbd6c@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: "HTML Working Group" <public-html@w3.org>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>

On 15/05/2008, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi> wrote:
> On May 15, 2008, at 01:35, Gez Lemon wrote:
> > From what I understand, at this point, my opinion is completely
> > aligned with members from the HTML5 community. The difference in our
> > opinions is that although I would suggest the authoring tool has done
> > the right thing for this particular scenario, the HTML5 working group
> > want the resulting output to be considered to be in compliance with
> > the specification. I disagree with this viewpoint, as the resulting
> > structure is inconceivable to some users with visual impairments and
> > cognitive disabilities, in a way that the resulting structure would be
> > inconceivable to sighted users if the src attribute wasn't provided in
> > a browser that renders images. That is the structure is inaccessible,
> > and couldn't possibly be considered valid.
> >
>
>  The notion that a syntax specification should require software conforming
> to the specification  to produce syntactically non-conforming output under
> some circumstances is patently bizarre.

This is the real point of contention for which we're unable to reach
consensus. I find it equally bizarre that an incomplete structure
should be considered valid output from an authoring tool, despite the
fact that the incompleteness means the resulting output cannot be
perceived by some people.

> We shouldn't require something that
> is bizarre in a way that it doesn't fit the software developer mindset,
> because then we don't get the reactions we want from software developers.

I don't understand your point here. If an author chooses not to
provide alt text, it's the author's fault that the resulting output
doesn't conform to the specification - not the authoring tool's fault.
The only time it would be considered the authoring tool's fault is if
the authoring tool made it difficult or impossible to provide alt
text. The solution to dealing with broken authoring tools is not to
make an incomplete structure compliant by lowering the bar, but
ensuring that authoring tools do provide a complete structure.

I think this is the point where someone mentions broken authoring
tools as scenarios that should be considered compliant even though
that isn't the case[1], and round we go until we're back here again.

[1] http://www.bestkungfu.com/archive/date/2008/05/alt-and-the-flickr-defense/

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Received on Thursday, 15 May 2008 09:46:53 GMT

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