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Re: Should validity be P1 or P2? (was RE: summary of resolutions from last 2 days)

From: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 08:54:14 -0700
Message-ID: <42B6E6A6.6060307@w3.org>
To: "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Bailey, Bruce wrote:

>(1)  We can't require validity to be P1 because we know that is not *really* necessary.  After all, one can find many of examples of invalid pages that are plenty accessible.
>(2)  We can't require the presence of ALT attributes on images to be P1 because we know that is not *really* necessary.  After all, one can find many examples where the root file name is plenty meaningful.

Here are the points on which your argument fails to analogize my position:

- We don't just specify the presence of alt attributes. We specify the 
presence of _equivalent_ alt text. This contains a lot more detail than 
"be valid," and all of that is directly relevant to accessibility.
- The alt attribute exists solely for the purpose of accessibility. If 
it didn't exist, we would still have to specify something to approximate 
alt text. If it were, in fact, likely to find alt text in a filename, it 
would still be necessary to specify the presence of alt text in the src 
attribute in WCAG in order to disambiguate meaningful and meaningless 
src attributes. That is, the next sentence in your analogy isn't: "So 
let's drop it as a requirement." It's: "So let's come up with another 
way to specify the same thing." The presence of alt text is mandatory 
for accessibility, irrespective of the mechanism which exposes it.
- You've completely missed the other half of the problem, which is that 
we can find many examples of valid pages that are plenty inaccessible. 
This problem exists in alt as well, making it perhaps the only good 
analogy to be drawn here, but for the fact that both versions of WCAG 
specify in great detail _what to express_ in that space. That is, we 
know all of the what, all of the why, and at least most of the how about 
alt text. We cannot claim that about validity, and I'm strongly against 
us specifying a requirement we don't know how to defend.

Received on Monday, 20 June 2005 15:54:17 UTC

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