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Re: Why I don't attend the weekly teleconference (Was: Input on the agenda)

From: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 20:59:42 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
At 12:50 AM 7/1/2009 +0200, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>Murray Maloney wrote:
>>At 05:38 PM 6/30/2009 +0100, David Singer wrote:
>>>I don't think I said that there are features that MUST not be
>>>displayed to sighted users; clearly that would be a silly restriction.
>>>But some of these attributes ARE not displayed to sighted users, and
>>>as a result, they are invisible, unchecked, by the average web author.
>>>The result is a poor level of conformance, I fear; people just don't
>>>notice their failures.
>>It is unfortunate that UIs do not offer more and better features to
>>support QA of web documents. The problem of invisible and unchecked
>>attribute values is widespread, affecting not only AT attributes, but
>>also linking and other attributes. Thus, it would seem that this is not
>>a particular flaw of AT attributes. Do you agree? If so, could we untie
>>this problem from the discussion of AT attributes? If not, please
>>explain further.
>While the hidden metadata problem certainly isn't restricted to 
>accessibility related attributes, that doesn't mean we can untie it from 
>the discussion and ignore it.  For any attribute to which the problem 
>applies, the negative effects of the problem need to be evaluated and 
>weighed up together with all of the other issues.

I appreciate your input on this Lachlan. I still hope to hear from David 
and Ian.

Are you suggesting that we perform a thorough review of all HTML attributes 
to determine which ones are prone to misuse because their visible effect is 
not readily apparent in various classes of HTML applications, such as full 
screen browsers, small screen browsers, AT and content creation and editing 
tools? Who will perform such an analysis? What will be the criteria for 
determining the harmfulness of an attribute? How will the criteria be 

>Where possible, it seems reasonable to find a way to avoid the problem, or 
>at least limit its negative impact, which is exactly what the attempts at 
>using more visible alternatives are trying to do.

I agree that it would be great of tools performed all of the QA functions 
that one might need to assure correct creation, processing, display and/or 
other form of presentation. I have not seen widespread support for the 
visible alternatives. In fact, I have seen and myself expressed strong 
disagreement with conflating caption. Please feel free to explain the 
visible alternatives to me so that I might be swayed, bearing in mind that 
I have many years of publishing experience and numerous editorial style 
guides, and I have definite views about the form and content of the 
editorial and typesetting device known as a caption.
Received on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 01:00:09 UTC

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