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Re: Discussion on Change Proposal for ISSUE-66

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 21:24:53 -0600
Message-ID: <643cc0271001231924t3a2a058bra8fd546af6324342@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Matt May <mattmay@adobe.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, public-html-a11y@w3.org
On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 5:07 PM, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> Ok. What I'm trying to figure out is whether a general statement that
>> repair techniques are allowed would be acceptable to everybody.
> Can't speak for "everybody", but I agree that it is acceptable
>> I agree that it doesn't make sense to specifically mention techniques
>> the practicality of which is uncertain. I think it would be better to
>> list no specific techniques, or list some examples that are clearly
>> practical today.
> I think the suggestion to reference UAAG is the better way forward.  From
> my perspective, Standards are by necessity "locked down", while techniques
> documents and guidelines are evolutionary by design. Locking down "Refer
> to UAAG" in the Standard introduces no downside, as UAAG can evolve to
> accommodate newer techniques and technologies.
>> That would be great. This email is to double-check that we are really
>> on the same page.
> Seems we are.
> JF

I hate to disagree with you John, but no, I'm not on the same page.

Sure, there's nothing wrong with encouraging user agents to attempt to
repair missing information, but that doesn't eliminate the problem
that this type of information can obscure the more important issue:
authors need to provide this information. Failing authors, authoring
tools are more likely the more appropriate technology to fill in this
information. In fact, many authoring tools do attempt to provide this
information if authors don't.

Matt is the one who provided the change proposal, and will defer to
him. But I hope that we don't get into the habit of   going outside
the boundaries of what should be included within an HTML
specification. Hinting to user agents that they should provide this
information, if they can, just ensures that we'll most likely have
inconsistent implementation--not to mention the possibility of
providing incorrect, or even muddled information.

Then there's the issue of performance -- authoring tools only have to
try to determine the alt text once. Do we really want every user agent
to attempt the same process every time the web page is opened? For
every image?

Received on Sunday, 24 January 2010 03:25:28 UTC

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