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RE: HTML Action Item 54 - ...draft text for HTML 5 spec to require producers/authors to include @alt on img elements.

From: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 14:31:58 -0700
To: "'Justin James'" <j_james@mindspring.com>, "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "'Steven Faulkner'" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, <public-html@w3.org>, "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>, "'Dan Connolly'" <connolly@w3.org>, "'Chris Wilson'" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "'Michael\(tm\) Smith'" <mike@w3.org>
Message-ID: <015d01c8b21c$1d1d3160$723d42ab@stanford.edu>

Justin James wrote:
> Anything that cannot be machine-checked should not be in the spec.

Which of course is why the "even in remote, specifically outlined
circumstances @alt can be considered optional" is fundamentally flawed - it
can either *always* be optional, or *never* be optional, but never

> There are too many automated user agents (search engines, screen
> scrapers, etc.) and too many automated authoring tools (anything
> generating HTML without user intervention, 99% of Web apps) out
> there. If it is not verifiable by the logic that general purpose
> programming languages allow, how is the programmer of such tools
> going to ensure that the software generates (or properly consumes)
> HTML that meets the spec? In a nutshell, a non-verifiable HTML spec
> relies upon a "I know it when I see it" definition of things, which
> will get us into trouble. If the user of the spec does not share the
> same internal "I know it when I see it" definitions, then they will
> be meeting the tech specs but not the assumed specs.     

Right.  I can bang together a small PHP app that uploads photos to my blog
and call it a "photo sharing site", and then claim dispensation just like
flickr.  Wrong!

Received on Friday, 9 May 2008 21:32:43 UTC

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