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Re: clarification sought on publishing alt text document as a WG note

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 18:26:38 -0400
Message-ID: <543DA31E.8000303@intertwingly.net>
To: Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org>
CC: public-html-a11y@w3.org
On 10/14/2014 05:26 PM, Liam R E Quin wrote:
> On Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:15:53 -0400 Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
> wrote:
>
>> Your position seems to be that there should not be a heartbeat
>> until there is technical consensus on how this document should
>> change based on an expected Director's decision.
>
> No. Not at all. If I gave that impression I apologize.
>
>> My position is that technical consensus is not required to publish
>> a heartbeat, and that a note of the known issues remaining to be
>> worked is sufficient.
>
> I'm OK with that too, with the proviso that there be a note right
> next to the few examples in question that are most likely to change
> (i.e. after the anchor so taht people linking directly to them will
> see it). I was originally asked to publish the document without
> adding any such notes, and without adding any notes about open
> issues, and I felt that was inappropriate when I looked at the
> document.
>
> I'd _prefer_ to resolve those examples before issuing a heartbeat,
> since I don't see it as technically very difficult. Adding a note
> about the fact that Web browsers may truncate an alt atribute value
> when rendered, to fit it into space reserved into an image, and
> removing a reference to "Details", would be icing on the beer. But
> that's a "prefer".
>
> My objection was, always was, still is, to publishing anything new on
> /TR in this area that doesn't clearly reference longdesc, and that
> thereby risks undermining the overall picture. This doesn't reflect
> badly on the current state of the draft, but rather that the world
> changed around it.
>
> Clearer? :)

First, a note on verb tenses.  As far as I know, no Director's decision
has been published.  Should such a decision uphold the objection, those
that advocated for a delay will look rather dull.

Second a comment on social dynamics.  Longdesc has proven to be a very
contentious issue.  Should the Director's decision be to overrule
Apple's objection, I will suggest that it would be rather bad form to
immediately seize on the opportunity to push for marking longdesc as a
best practice.  While that may end up being the ultimate result, pushing
too hard and too fast may end up increasing the divide rather than
healing it.

With those two out of the way -- and without fully understanding the
technical issues -- I humbly suggest that you may be underestimating
what it would take to resolve this issue.  I'm particularly concerned as
there appears to be movement towards excluding items that are not
included in the HTML5 PR[1].

And now with regard to your suggestion of issues markers in the specific
sections; I think that's a great idea.  In fact, HTML drafts had such
for a long time -- it was even a part of the publishing pipeline at the
time to query the list of open issues and to annotate the sections
mentioned in each.  One proviso, however.  Such markers must be only
markers, and not an attempt to present either or both sides of the
issue.  They should be limited to a short name and a link, preferably to
the bug report where discussion will take place.

I believe it is equally valid to put those issue markers in place now,
in advance of the Director's decision, as it would be to have those
markers in place after the decision has been published.

> Liam

- Sam Ruby

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2014Oct/0049.html
Received on Tuesday, 14 October 2014 22:27:22 UTC

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