W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2000

Re: So, what's left?

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 21:55:26 -0500 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.10001252142310.15214-100000@mail.q2.net>


On Mon, 24 Jan 2000, Murray Altheim wrote:
> David Wagner wrote:

> > (I always wondered why <img> is [...not] an element whose content
> > is rendered if the UA cannot display it, thus allowing the use of
> > the one-thousand words the picture is worth [...]
> 
> While this won't become part of XHTML until 2.0, I've proposed
> changing <img> in a way similar to your suggestion, but somewhat
> improved. Rather than having <img>'s content be #PCDATA, I've
> suggested a new element type called <alt>, which replaces the
> 'alt' attribute.

Joe English posted a proposal like this to the old IETF/HTML-WG.

  http://www.nyct.net/~aray/notes/jenglish-alt.txt

(Sadly, the archive at LANL no longer exists, so this is extracted
from my personal copy.) 

> This allows stylesheets and similar mechanisms to show or hide the
> node, plus multiple alts can be used to provide multiple languages
> (each element containing a different xml:lang attribute value).

Sounds great.  URL?

> The advantage/disadvantage of the W3C consortium is that most of
> the representation is from large corporations, but this also means
> that some experts are being paid to spend a lot of time creating
> these specs rather than rely on the spare time of people. Amongst
> the membership are many who are trying to do the 'right thing'
> from an architectural and socially standpoint.

Sure.  The fundamental flaw of the process is its closed nature.  
When I look at things from the W3C that have really worked, the
pattern I see is a WG (ok, closed by process rules) supported by a
broader spectrum interest group.  XML had its SIG, XSL has xsl-list,
etc.  To some extent, the SIG went too far one way (hidden from the
public) and xsl-list has gone the other (completely open.)  I think
the model for the original w3c-sgml-wg was just right in terms of
feasible compromise - closed membership, open archive.

What's bothersome is that, had you not mentioned your <alt> proposal,
the first time many of us would have seen such a thing for the first
time would have been some huge working draft or whatever dropped on
us, with some short deadline for commentary.  Too much time gets
wasted essentially reproducing discussions.

We're lucky to have someone like you, offering information, but *by
process rules* this is an exception.

That sucks.


Arjun
 
Received on Tuesday, 25 January 2000 21:46:45 GMT

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