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Re: ISSUE-66 Change Proposal: no change

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 18:26:38 -0700
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-id: <9817B30C-08AA-48F3-BFAD-A3F3B549CA3C@apple.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

For the record, this and your other alternate proposal have been  
recorded on the status page:

http://dev.w3.org/html5/status/issue-status.html#ISSUE-066

On Mar 9, 2010, at 2:44 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:

>
> SUMMARY
>
> There is no problem and the proposed remedy is to change nothing.
>
>
> RATIONALE
>
> There is no problem.
>
> One other change proposal says that no technology exists to convert  
> images
> to text. However, this is not true; for example OCR technology has  
> existed
> for decades and is widely available in both commercial off-the-shelf  
> and
> open-source packages.
>
> That other change proposal also suggests that the spec might make it
> unclear that authors should be the ones that give alternative text,  
> rather
> than automated tools. However, to draw such a conclusion one would  
> have to
> ignore the pages and pages of detailed instructions on how authors  
> must
> write alternative text, and one would have to ignore a big warning  
> placed
> immediately adjacent to the controversial paragraph asserting in no
> uncertain terms that "authors must not rely on such behaviour".
>
> That other change proposal further suggests that we should not  
> suggest to
> implementors that they help users understand images, because they  
> will do
> so without prompting. However, this would be inconsistent with the  
> style
> of the specification, which is to be explicit about everything and to
> leave nothing to chance, especially not something as important as
> accessibility.
>
> Another change proposal suggests that not including more detail  
> would be
> missing out on an opportunity to increase competition in the field.
> However, there's no reason to go overboard; just mentioning one  
> simple and
> unambiguously possible technique like OCR should be enough.
>
>
> DETAILS
>
> Change nothing.
>
>
> IMPACT
>
> POSITIVE EFFECTS
>
> Leaving the text in will encourage implementors to explore the  
> boundaries
> of alternative text repair techniques, increasing the overall
> accessibility of the Web over time.
>
> NEGATIVE EFFECTS
>
> Leaving the text without change might fail to highlight possible  
> future
> work, such as performing landmark recognition or facial recognition in
> photographs, reducing the chances that an implementor will investigate
> these groundbreaking image analysis techniques in the context of
> alternative text repair.
>
> CONFORMANCE CLASS CHANGES
>
> None.
>
> RISKS
>
> It is suggested that mentioning that user agents might be able to  
> repair
> non-conforming pages could make authors less likely to write  
> conforming
> pages, though it is not clear why this would apply here and not in the
> many other parts of the spec that mention repair techniques,  
> especially
> the sections that explicitly mandate specific user agent repair
> techniques.
>
> -- 
> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                ) 
> \._.,--....,'``.    fL
> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _ 
> \  ;`._ ,.
> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'-- 
> (,_..'`-.;.'
>
Received on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 01:27:11 UTC

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