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

Re: Flickr and alt

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 17:52:16 -0400
Message-ID: <48A9EF10.2010503@mit.edu>
To: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
CC: W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org

David Poehlman wrote:
> This is no threat, it is fact.

What is?  That breaking laws means suffering consequences?  Or something 
else?  It's really quite hard to carry on a conversation with you given 
your quoting style and the fact that your respond only very selectively 
to things I say.

> as far as conformance is concerned, the sky falls every day but some how, 
> the sun keeps coming up.

That's a meaningless cliche, sorry.

> News papers and books are still with us dispite the cries to the contrary.

I'm not sure what that has to do with conformance.

 > section 508 did not bring technology
> development to a halt

No, but neither do you have data that it didn't slow it down. 
Counterfactuals are really hard to deal with on society-wide scales.

Note that sec 508 is also NOT enforced on everyone.

> nor did it bring all government web sites down as it 
> was foretold that it would.

Are government websites now accessible?  Last I tried to use a few, they 
wouldn't even work period, forget being accessible (fly.faa.gov is an 
excellent example).  Could that website perhaps work if they had more 
time to spend on making it so?  (In this particular case, by the way, 
probably not.)

I'm not saying that sec 508 is a bad idea, by the way.  I think it was 
needed, and is still needed.  I just want us to be clear that diverting 
resources to some task, such as improving accessibility, necessarily 
reduces resources available for other tasks.  Life's full of tradeoffs, 
and that's fine.  I just want us to recognize it when we're making a 
tradeoff instead of declaring that there is only One True Thing to do 
and that all other considerations are irrelevant.

> All we can do is write spec so that conformance yeilds desired results.

We should be aiming to write a spec such that the results are as close 
as possible to the desired results.  (Note that this isn't quite the 
same as what you said; it's a little more ambitious, since it aims at 
improvement even in some of the non-conformant cases.)

Received on Monday, 18 August 2008 21:53:14 UTC

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