Re: [html4all] HTML5 Alternative Text, and Authoring Tools

On 17/05/2008, Henri Sivonen <> wrote:
> > I complete agree with you, Henri, and I am guilty of using the term
> > "valid" here, when I meant "compliant":
> >
>  The question is compliant to what? HTML5 syntax? Or WCAG 2.0? Or something
> else?

Compliant to HTML5, assuming that HTML5 structure is complete, and
requires alt text for non-text objects; otherwise, the content will
not be perceivable to some people.

> > Sure, there are some amazingly
> > poor developers out there, but lowering conformance constraints in the
> > markup to exonerate these poor developers is not the solution.
> >
>  You need software developers to make the Web more accessible. Giving them
> guidelines that seem completely unnatural to them because they intuitively
> see the fundamental qualitative difference I mentioned above and then
> chastising them as "amazingly poor" isn't helpful. The guidelines don't make
> the fundamental difference go away, so it would be more productive to work
> forward by not trying to twist words to try to hide the difference.

There are amazingly poor developers, and there are amazingly good
developers (true of any profession). Unless they up their game, poor
developers are not going to generate accessible content. Lowering the
bar so that poor developers are not required to make accessible
content is not the solution.

> > Regardless of whether poor authoring tool developers proudly output
> > bogus alt text in an attempt to make the content valid, or good
> > authoring tool developers assist authors in providing good alt text,
> > and do nothing if nothing useful is provided, the end result is that
> > the content will not be accessible to some users, and neither should
> > be considered compliant.
> >
>  What I'm trying to get at is that it doesn't make sense to establish a
> policy that causes failures to be harder than they have to be. And there
> will be failures.

I do understand what you are trying to get at, it's just that it
doesn't make sense to establish a policy that results in a structure
that is known to be inaccessible to some people. I think it's more
important that the resulting structure is perceivable to its intended
audience than exonerating poor authoring tools.


Supplement your vitamins

Received on Saturday, 17 May 2008 13:07:52 UTC