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RE: Another view of alt optionality

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 23:49:46 -0400
To: "'Mark Baker'" <distobj@acm.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0c5301c8aff5$6496c570$2dc45050$@com>

On the note of law, I have seen over the course of this discussion, mention
of laws pertaining to @alt and/or usability. Is it the HTML 5 working
group's responsibility to adhere to laws regarding anything? If so, what are
our guidelines on that? Because a great many countries have laws regarding
accessibility, some even have laws regarding Web accessibility, so for us to
even include "conformance with the law" as a guideline or guiding principle,
we are setting ourselves up for failure. I propose, then, that any laws
regarding accessibility or the @alt issue can and should be safely ignored
by this group (but of course, they should be obeyed by all within their


-----Original Message-----
From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Mark Baker
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 11:42 PM
To: public-html@w3.org
Subject: Another view of alt optionality

As if one was needed ... 8-O

I just added this to the Wiki page on "alt"[1];

The primary purpose of a markup language specification like HTML is
that it be able to be used to construct a document with a specific
meaning as determined by a publisher, and to permit a consumer to
reconstruct that meaning when in receipt of the document.  Whether a
given document uses alt text or not matters not to that purpose.  The
optionality of alt is therefore not the concern of the specification.
Instead, it seems to be in domain of guidelines, best practices, and
perhaps law.

 [1] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/IssueAltAttribute

Mark Baker. Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA. http://www.markbaker.ca
Coactus; Web-inspired integration strategies http://www.coactus.com
Received on Wednesday, 7 May 2008 03:50:53 UTC

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