Re: Request to Reconsider Alt Guidance Location

On Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 4:17 AM, Janina Sajka <> wrote:
>> Janina, it might be helpful to clarify how the HTML 5 Techniques for
>> WCAG 2.0 Task Force [1] is or is not involved in all of this.
> It's a joint PF and WCAG TF charged with creating and documenting
> techniques for HTML 5 that lead to WCAG conformance. In publishing
> these, following review, they update WCAG 2 by design. In this way, as
> the CP says, WCAG 2 is a "living specification."

I can't follow this.

WHATWG HTML5 is a "Living Standard" in the sense that it's a moving
target for conformance.

W3C HTML5 provides a snapshot target for conformance.

WCAG 2 the Recommendation provides a snapshot target for conformance.
It has not been updated since December 2008.

WCAG 2 Understanding and Techniques are quite different types of
document. Neither the facts that they are just Notes not
Recommendations and frequently updated does not mean they cannot be
specifications with conformance requirements. But in fact these
documents declare that they are purely informative:

The CP says new WCAG normative requirements will be produced by
updating these documents. Is the plan to change the status of these
documents so that they provide normative requirements for a Living
Standard WCAG as well as informative guidance for WCAG 2, or what?

If you're just documenting techniques that might lead to WCAG
conformance in the style of the existing techniques document, then you
are not producing normative requirements.

More generally, it seems hard to reconcile a11y task force support for
this radical CP, which drops all normative requirements for HTML5
conforming documents around the @alt attribute, with earlier arguments
for details like requiring the @alt attribute on <img> elements and
not giving documents an @alt exemption based on meta generator.
Previously, many TF members have been adamant that it was crucial for
the W3C HTML5 validator to push @alt requirements.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

Received on Friday, 24 February 2012 07:46:33 UTC