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Fwd: Ian's Null change proposal for ISSUE-31 missing alt, "What to do when a reasonable text equivalent is unknown/unavailable?"

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 02:23:47 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa1003240023p44ee06e6jcfeb5d11daeeeeb8@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Hello Everyone,

For the task force's information, I linked Ian's null change proposal
[1] for ISSUE-31, missing alt, "What to do when a reasonable text
equivalent is unknown/unavailable?" [2] to our Accessibility Change
Proposal Status page [3]. Full text is below.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2010Mar/0029.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/31
[3] http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Accessibility_Change_Proposal_Status

Best Regards,

-- Forwarded message --
From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 06:56:25 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Null change proposal for ISSUE-31
To: www-archive@w3.org


There is no problem and the proposed remedy is to change nothing.

There is no problem.

Another change proposal suggests removing all advice for authors writing
alternative text, moving it to other documents. Historically, we have
tried that (HTML4 had virtually no advice) and we have found it to be a
poor solution: authors assume it is easy to write alternative text and
thus do not attempt to learn anything about it. We need to try having such
information as "in your face" as possible. Having additional documents
would be additionally helpful, but does not preclude having detailed
advice in the HTML spec itself.

A second change proposal suggests allowing otherwise non-conforming
content to be conforming based on the presence of ARIA attributes.
However, this is a layering violation and a language design error. ARIA is
intended to only affect accessibility API mappings (and thus ATs).
Features such as alt="", however, are relevant far beyond AT users, for
example to text browsers. It would be wrong, therefore, to make solutions
that exclusively affect accessibility APIs be a suitable alternative for
solutions that are necessary for UAs that do not use accessibility APIs.

Change nothing.


Having authoring advice will help advise authors.
Having conformance requirements independent of AT APIs will ensure that
authors are encouraged to write documents that are optimal even for users
that do not use ATs.




Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

-- End forwarded message --

Laura L. Carlson
Received on Wednesday, 24 March 2010 07:24:17 UTC

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