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Re: DRAFT response Re[2]: Request for PFWG WAI review of Omitting ?alt Attribute for Critical Content

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 18:48:54 -0500
Message-ID: <000301c83150$1307eb90$0701a8c0@HANDS>
To: "Jason White" <jason@jasonjgw.net>, <wai-xtech@w3.org>

Surely, there is no element or attribute anywhere in any spec that would 
say, when you publish your documents, not only must you use an alt attrib, 
you also must write into it that the image is not important if it is not 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jason White" <jason@jasonjgw.net>
To: <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: DRAFT response Re[2]: Request for PFWG WAI review of Omitting 
alt Attribute for Critical Content

On Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 10:06:56AM -0500, David Poehlman wrote:
> My personal take on this is there is markup and then there is publishing.
> Does any specification tell you what to put in an element?

Yes, read the HTML 4.01 specification for example. Telling you waht to put 
an element or attribute is part of defining the semantics of the element or
attribute. The specification defines both the syntax and the semantics of 
markup language.

The proposal that I was advancing in this thread relates to both the syntax
and the semantics of the ALT attribute.
> I fear we travel a slippery slope if we provide more than the
> tools for accessibly and validly marking up a publication no matter what 
> the
> content or platform.  Fortunately or unfortunately, providing markup and
> giving guidance on how to implement it is best we can do.

No, not at all. A marked up document that doesn't conform to the semantics 
the elements and attributes as laid down in the specification is not a
conforming document, provided that the conformance requirements are
appropriately prescribed. In the case of HTML 5, when I last read the draft
there was an explicit statement to this effect.
Received on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 23:49:00 UTC

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