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Re: alt - data and reason Re: One more thought...

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 13:19:57 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0805191119t48de2796q1ef394bccab1d138@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org
Cc: "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>, faulkner.steve@gmail.com, hsivonen@iki.fi, mattmay@gmail.com

Chaals wrote:

>> Actually, we don't even have any decent qualitative data on this -
>> and it is the crucial point in the entire debate. Since it really
>> does hinge on *motive*, I think the best way to proceed on this
>> question is to get some information from a group of tool developers,
>> who can explain whether they do or don't abuse alt="" or leave out
>> alt based on validity reqirements, thoughts about ugly tooltips,
>> believing that there is nothing appropriate that could be said, or
>> some other basis.

William wrote:

> Unless you mistyped "quantitative" as "qualitative" I must disagree.
> All of us who have participated in these efforts at consensus,
> particularly the tragedy of ATAG-compliance avoidance, know full well
> that the arguments raised by the very tool designers have on the
> whole been driven by competely wrong motives.

- Quantitative research often "forces" responses or people into
categories that might not "fit" in order to make meaning.
- Qualitative research, on the other hand, sometimes focuses too
closely on individual results and fails to make connections to larger
situations or possible causes and of the results.

Research and data would be interesting to have, but what would it
prove? Either "quantitative" or "qualitative" [1] may reflect the
interests of those conducting or benefiting from the research and the
purposes for which the findings will be applied. Basing important
decisions on either has drawbacks. Criterion, methodology, etc would
be a huge bone of contention.

AUWG and UAWG folks are the experts in this area who could provide
real insight to the HTMLWG. Through PF, we have asked for their
advice: "what should an authoring or publishing tool insert, in a case
where no alt has been provided by the author, but the image is known
to be 'critical content'?" [2]

We need to wait for their answer. And we need to listen.

Best Regards,
Laura

[1] http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/siegle/research/Qualitative/qualquan.htm
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Apr/0408.html
Received on Monday, 19 May 2008 18:20:36 GMT

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