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

On 17/05/2008, Henri Sivonen <> wrote:
>  Part of what I hold as the mission of is to make a validator
> that doesn't have the kind of flaws that previous validators are known to
> have. Inducing software developers to make accessibility fail harder when
> accessibility fails is something that I consider to be a flaw in previous
> validator design.

That is a great mission, and I for one am grateful that you're taking
accessibility seriously. Rather than inducing software developers to
provide bogus alt text, maybe you could have a message specifically
for authoring tool developers? For example, point them to the relevant
parts of ATAG, so that they will know that although their content does
not conform to HTML5, they have done the right thing if they had
nothing useful to use as alternate text. That would be a lot less
harmful for accessibility than lowering conformance requirements to
satisfy a syntax checker.

>  You seem to be saying that it is OK to make accessibility fail even more
> when it fails, because the cases where it fails at all are bad.

That's not what I'm saying at all, it's just that I'm not trying to
smooth everything over. You seem to have interpreted my position as a
go-ahead for poor authoring tools to provide bogus alt text to pass an
automated syntax checker. I see bogus alt text as a problem that needs
to be solved by getting authoring tool developers to up their game -
work towards following ATAG, rather than trying to fool a syntax
checker. What I don't agree with is lowering conformance requirements
to exonerate poor authoring tools, when a better solution is to get
authoring tools to behave correctly.


Supplement your vitamins

Received on Saturday, 17 May 2008 14:12:33 UTC