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Re: Discussion on Change Proposal for ISSUE-66

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 06:39:00 +0000 (UTC)
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1001210619060.3759@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Wed, 20 Jan 2010, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> I haven't seen any follow-up discussion. I'm interested in hearing what 
> the rest of the Working Group thinks. Does anyone strongly agree with 
> Matt that the sentence he objects to should be removed? Does anyone 
> strongly feel that the sentence should be retained? Does anyone have 
> alternate wording to suggest that might be acceptable to everyone?

I think that its's important that we at least acknowledge the possibility 
that user agents use image analysis techniques, and certainly that we 
explicitly allow the use of such techniques. Even a straightforward OCR of 
many images with no alternative text would dramatically improve the 
accessibility of many pages.

I don't really understand what the problem with the sentence in the spec 
now is. If anything, I'd say the text is a bit weak - given recent 
advances in image analysis techniques (e.g. as seen in Google Goggles), we 
might in fact want to consider changing the "may" to a "should". I do not 
at all buy the assertion that Google is somehow uniquely positioned to 
perform image analysis -- there are open source OCR packages available 
that can target decade-old hardware that perform quite well.

It has been argued that this implementor-targetted sentence might in some 
way counter the pages and pages of detailed author-targetted text that the 
spec has encouraging, nay, requiring, that authors include alt="" text. I 
do not believe this to be the case, but would be happy to include further 
text in the spec admonishing thinking such thoughts.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 21 January 2010 06:39:29 UTC

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