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

RE: Flickr and alt

From: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 18:12:10 -0700
To: "'Gez Lemon'" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, "'Patrick H. Lauke'" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Cc: <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00c601c90198$9b7e6b20$0a00000a@stanford.edu>

Gez Lemon wrote:
> If you do bulk uploads on Flickr intended for your friends and loved
> ones, it's reasonable that you might decide to add text alternatives
> later, or maybe never get around to adding them. But do you think the
> resulting content should be considered compliant? Without text
> alternatives, the content will not be perceivable for some people. It
> seems reasonable to me that appropriate alternative text is required
> for conformance. Lowering conformance requirements seems a dangerous
> route, as not only does that lock out people that cannot readily
> change an aspect about themselves to be able to perceive the content,
> but it's also a route that is open to abuse. 

Bravo!  Thank you Gez.
> Why is it so important that inaccessible content should be considered
> compliant? 

<nods in total agreement>

> Why not allow these edge cases to be considered
> non-compliant, and have authoring tools encourage authors to author
> accessible content? If an author chooses not to provide text
> alternatives because they're writing for themselves, close friends
> and relatives, that's fine; but lowering conformance requirements in
> order to declare a structure that is incomplete as compliant doesn't
> seem reasonable.  

Exactly! A point that I have been trying to raise for some time now. Also,
what exactly is the *penalty* for being non-compliant?  As far as I can see
in HTML 5 (and in fact all versions of HTML), the penalty is nothing really
- content still renders on screen.  If you as a content author care enough
to reach "conformance" or compliance, then you will care enough to ensure
that your images are appropriately annotated with either @alt of
<legend><caption>.  If the masters of Flickr care, they will find a method
and means to encourage their contributors to do the right thing - or at the
very least ensure that the means to do so exists, whether or not the
contributors follow though.

It seems to me that this is akin to the declaration of limited conformance
in the WCAG 2 draft, so the precedence is already established.

Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 01:12:58 UTC

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