Re: [html4all] Discussion Action 54: First draft of the rewrite of "The img element"

Hi Jason, thanks for your well considered and insightful comments.

I look forward to reading interested parties thoughts on your comments.

best regards

On 13/05/2008, Jason White <> wrote:
> On Fri, May 09, 2008 at 04:06:32AM -0500, Laura Carlson wrote:
> > We would love to have your input. Please send your comments to this
> > thread by May 22. A copy of the draft is also in the Wiki [3].
> This proposal is much more consistent with W3C accessibility guidelines,
> developed over many years, than the text currently in the HTML 5 draft. As a
> result, it is more in line with best practice and policy in organizations that
> have adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and which, in the
> time-frame for the development of HTML 5, will move toward the implementation
> of WCAG 2.0, which is now a W3C Candidate Recommendation. It should also be
> noted that these guidelines have been incorporated into policy, directly or
> indirectly, in a number of jurisdictions, and that future versions of HTML
> should be consistent with W3C accessibility guidelines as well as the
> practices that have emerged in support of them.
> My reservations regarding this proposal are as follows.
> It provides much non-normative guidance in the application of the ALT
> attribute, which may not be appropriate for inclusion in a markup language
> specification, and which moreover could be seen as usurping the role of WCAG
> 2.0 and its techniques documents. A format specification is not a tutorial.
> Nevertheless, there is a legitimate role for non-normative explanations in
> clarifying the normative content. I think the discussion in this case should
> be confined to a concise description, consistent with WCAG 2.0, of the
> function of @alt, a brief discussion of the various possibilities as outlined
> in WCAG 2, guideline 1.1, and a reference to that specification and its
> techniques for further details.
> Much attention has been paid to the syntactic question of whether @alt should
> be a required attribute. Ultimately, this depends on the question of what
> validating implementations of HTML 5 should treat as correct - what kinds of
> errors should be flagged by validators, whether operating as stand-alone
> applications or in authoring tools. Given the HTML 5 approach to error
> handling in user agents, it seems that regardless of how the syntactic issue
> surrounding @alt is decided, the specification will need to define graceful
> error handling behaviour, to be consistently implemented by user agents, in
> the case of a missing @alt. The present proposal does not address this
> issue.
> I think it would be helpful if the working group were to clarify, as a
> preliminary to addressing the syntactic issue of whether @alt should be
> mandatory, the role of validating implementations and the extent to which
> validity requirements should be designed to encourage, and to identify
> possible departures from, good authoring practices, including practices
> required by other W3C specifications such as WCAG 2.0. I would also suggest
> that consideration be given to the possibility of multiple levels of
> validation, of distinguishing, for example, fatal errors from warnings, as
> compilers do in parsing source code. It should also be borne in mind that
> accessibility-related validators play an important role in assuring
> conformance to those aspects of WCAG 2.0 that are testable at a syntactic
> level, and in notifying authors of potentially non-conforming content. Perhaps
> there needs to be a broader specification covering HTML validation that would
> encompass internationalization, accessibility and other authorial best
> practices, identifying aspects which can be tested by syntax alone and the
> kinds of warnings or errors that should be given in each case. These
> requirements would also apply to code generators and other authoring tools
> which impose syntactic constraints beyond those required for HTML parsing, on
> the document instances that they produce.
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with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium |
Web Accessibility Toolbar -

Received on Tuesday, 13 May 2008 07:53:55 UTC