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Re: Flickr and alt

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 11:31:36 +0200
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: <op.uf4neybj64w2qv@annevk-t60.oslo.opera.com>

On Tue, 19 Aug 2008 02:38:13 +0200, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com> wrote:
> Why is it so important that inaccessible content should be considered
> compliant?

Because we might be able to suggest something more reasonable than making  
it compliant by just putting in some random string of characters. If some  
photosite did care about validation for one reason or another you might  
end up with alt="" everywhere, even on the significant photos. This would  
preclude the photo from being detected and people who can't see the photo  
won't be able to pass it on to someone who does. (Unless of course they  
use special tactics for that site to discover the photos, but that's not  
really improving the status quo I think.)

In other words, compliant content is not accessible per se, so trying to  
test accessibility on the compliance level seems like the wrong thing to  
do. It feels similar to all those people validating as XHTML Transitional  
happily using <font> and <table> for layout without having a clue as to  
what's going on.

(Then again, this point has been made since the start of the era of alt  
permathreads so presumably it's an acceptable problem...)

Anne van Kesteren
Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 09:32:21 UTC

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