W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > May 2008

conformance levels [was: Re: alt crazyness ...]

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 15:18:38 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560805041218l297b83a2ycb89b38146a8feee@mail.gmail.com>
To: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: Smylers@stripey.com

Olivier GENDRIN reminded us of

and Smylers wrote:
> That has two levels of conformance, with a 'partial
> conformance' exception for included external content.
> Are you suggesting something similar for HTML 5?

Yes; there has been resistance in the past to multiple levels of
conformance, but this does provide a pathway.

>   2 This webpage completely conforms to the
> HTML 5 standard.

>  1 This webpage conforms to the HTML 5 standard
> except that it includes unknown images from
> external sources for which we are unable to
> provide alterternative text.

> Except that ...

[various reformulations that eventually end up suggesting alt-less is
good enough in general, and a fully conforming with-alt document is
above and beyond.]

We do not want accessibility to become an above-and-beyond that must
be called out separately.  The longer and non-default formulation
should be used for the exceptional case, which should be the less

    "This webpage conforms to the HTML 5 standard
     except that ..."

is precisely the formulation to use, and

    "... it includes images for which the author has
     failed to provide alt attributes."

is a good example, which might be worth formalizing.  (Maybe even
better than the <font> for WYSIWYG, since it is clearly an author fix
instead of a tool fix.)

And note that this conformance claim is orthogonal to whether alt
should always be required, or should become optional under certain
circumstances, such as when a (possibly implied) aria-describedby
provides the information in another manner.

Received on Sunday, 4 May 2008 19:19:18 UTC

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