W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > August 2008

Re: Flickr and alt

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 17:25:30 -0400
Message-ID: <FD804A3B2F9846B9A5492CDC4A0D68BE@HANDS>
To: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Cc: "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>

It comes down to this bring us bac round squarely to our mission here.  It 
is anyones choice to make the web in their image.  this does not say though 
that we cannot and should not provide requirements for accessibility. 
Anyone who chooses can break the law and suffer the consequences.  No one 
would be prohiitted from publishing, they would just not be conformant.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
To: "David Poehlman" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Cc: "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>; <public-html@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 4:58 PM
Subject: Re: Flickr and alt

David Poehlman wrote:
> so I don't have the right to access the web?

Please do me a favor and read what I said.  I said that your right to
access the web does not trump Bob's right to publish his website, even
if it's written in red text on a green background.

> does accessibility do actual harm?

Requiring it from people who aren't willing (or perhaps even able) to
put the time and money in to provide it can in fact do actual harm, yes,
by restricting their speech.

You will note, for example, that the ADA requirements for workplaces
have exceptions for small businesses.

> aren't we doing harm when we force people to speak/write a language
> just because of where they happen to be?

I'm not sure what you're asking here.  There is no legislation where I
live, last I checked, that requires a resident of the area to either
speak or write any language.  This doesn't hold true worldwide, of course.

> Yes, there are fringe and extreme cases

I'll note that you didn't address the actual questions I asked.  Do you
view those as "fringe and extreme cases".

> but there are also fundamental building blocks reaching for a higher
> society and the further we evolve, the more building blocks we find and 
> the
> more resistance to those building blocks we find.

Honestly, I can't make sense of this statement....

> There have been times
> when exclusion was done on the basis of what your gender or ethnicity 
> were.
> do we still uphold this?

This is what's called a strawman.  There is a difference between the
concepts of "going out of one's way to be exclusive" and "not going out
of one's way to be inclusive".  A huge difference, especially when one
talks of rights, since forcing someone to spend effort being inclusive
is no difference from forcing someone to spend effort building roads
from a rights perspective: you're using superior force to make someone
spend their labor in a way they don't want to spend it.

Note that historically governments have done both, so it's not that
neither should be done.  But it should be recognized as the
rights-infringement it is.

> i fear we veer though.

Perhaps.  But perhaps this just highlights the fundamentally different
points of view people seem to have on this whole set of issues (most
emphatically including "rights").

Received on Monday, 18 August 2008 21:40:12 UTC

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