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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: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 12:01:38 -0500
To: Dave Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1210611698.4651.550.camel@pav.lan>

On Mon, 2008-05-12 at 09:14 -0700, Dave Singer wrote:
> This entire conversation seems to be be in repeating circles. 

Quite. I noticed that a few weeks ago and I have been looking
for some constructive way to structure the discussion, but
I'm not having much luck...

> Personally, I would like to see a considered answer to the question 
> below, and I don't think I have.  Having, in essence, the question or 
> disagreement endlessly repeated is making the mailing list tedious to 
> follow.  If we've had a helpful answer, can someone repeat it?

The PF WG gave us this input:


1.  By the principles, HTML5 wants to support accessibility

2.  By their charters, WAI groups (here WCAG) are the go-to
experts in matters of accessibility

3.  WCAG requires @alt (WCAG1) or the function that in HTML4
is provided by @alt (WCAG2)  [editorial note -- add links]

4.  By the principles, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

5.  Conclusion:  barring the introduction of new, good
reasons for a change, the failure of the HTML5 draft to make
@alt on <img> an across-the-board requirement (even if sometimes
it has the value of &quot;&quot;) is a bug.

 -- http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Feb/0082.html

Opinions seem to vary on whether it's a helpful answer or not.

I would prefer that the HTML 5 spec cited WCAG on accessibility
matters, perhaps importing some of the material by copy as well
as reference... i.e. that we don't independently specify how
to make HTML documents accessible. That way discussion of
whether something is accessible or not would be out of order
here; our task would be reduced to figuring out how to
re-use existing WCAG guidelines. As long as the HTML 5 spec
is an independent source of advice on accessibility, we
invite a lot of discussion that I'd rather just not have.

On the other hand, I don't think that the most useful definition
of conformance for HTML 5 documents is limited to accessible documents.

As I said a while back, I do think the most useful definition
of conformance is objective...

  keep conformance objective (detailed review of section 1.

I'm still getting my head around the notion of conformance
in the current HTML 5 draft. Making conformance depend
on whether markup is used per semantics of <h1> and such
seems like making grammatical correctness of English
sentences depend on whether they're true or not. I suppose
there's some value in it, but it's so different from what
I'm used that I have trouble making sense of the discussion.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
gpg D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Monday, 12 May 2008 17:02:13 UTC

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