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RE: [html4all] from hixies log - Fire, a two-hour weekend, accessibility,and other rants

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 23:26:09 +0000 (UTC)
To: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Cc: 'advocate group' <list@html4all.org>, www-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0709052314540.3943@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Wed, 5 Sep 2007, John Foliot wrote:
>
>> This isn't just my opinion. It was clear at the festival that the 
>> sizeable deaf community present there was fully enjoying the music. The 
>> presence of sign language interpreters made them feel part of the 
>> event, and conveyed everything that they wanted conveyed.
> 
> Could it be then that images on sites like Fickr might be useful 
> (enjoyed) by the blind or low-vision? (Insist on alt text, don't make it 
> optional)

As the spec says: "the alt attribute should be included, with a useful 
value, if at all possible". It goes on to say that "since some users 
cannot use images at all (e.g. because they have a very slow connection, 
or because they are using a text-only browser, or because they are 
listening to the page being read out by a hands-free automobile voice Web 
browser, or simply because they are blind), the alt attribute should only 
be omitted when no alternative text is available and none can be made 
available". There's no point going any further than that -- in the cases 
where no alternative text is available and none can be made available, 
requiring it will only make pages non-compliant, it won't improve 
accessibility at all.


> Wrong!!! Content *MUST* (not may) be provided inside the video
> <http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#video1>  element so that
> older Web browsers, which do not support video
> <http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#video1> , can display
> text to the user informing them of how to access the video contents. 

So you're saying that the following should not be compliant?:

   <p><video src="monkey.mpeg" controls autoplay></video></p>
   <p><a href="monkey.mpeg">Download the Monkey video</a>.</p>


> "User agents should not show this fallback content to the user" 
> (Why not? How does this help anyone?)

Compliant HTML5 user agents must not show the fallback content to the user 
because compliant HTML5 user agents must support the <video> element, and 
thus the fallback content (intended at legacy user agents) is not 
appropriate for HTML5 user agents.


> Just because my user-agent does not support a visualization of video 
> content should in no way restrict the user access to any other aspect of 
> that object?  Those deaf people couldn't hear the music, but by your own 
> admission enjoyed the show none-the-less.  Where is this type of 
> consideration in the spec?  *This* is what drives the frustration.

The deaf might not be able to hear the video, but they can still see the 
video and watch the subtitles. Why should they be *prevented* from seeing 
the video at all, which is what would happen if the fallback was shown 
instead?


>> Meanwhile, the hearing patrons enjoyed the music and the sign language 
>> - I heard comments from several people to the effect that the sign 
>> language interpreters were effectively an intrinsic part of the act. 
>> (To the point where even people who didn't necessarily understand sign 
>> language had opinions on which interpreter was better.)
> 
> Contrast this against suggestions to make alternative text optional

It isn't optional.


> and considering deprecating LONGDESC

LONGDESC is hidden from most users -- why shouldn't they get access to the 
long descriptions? Far better is to make the long descriptions available 
to everyone, not just to the blind, just like the sign language interprets 
at Falcon Ridge are visible to everyone (they're on the stage) and are not 
just limited to the deaf (which they easily could be, by putting them in 
a section reserved for the deaf).


> and arguing for *not* (or at least not insisting on) providing fallback 
> for various visual effects.

I don't understand what you're saying here.


> You say and believe one thing, but HTML5 advocates in the opposite 
> direction.

I think you are trying to read the opposite direction into the spec, but I 
don't see what you describe as being there.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 5 September 2007 23:27:01 UTC

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