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

RE: Mandatory and Important

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:25:32 -0400
To: "'Laura Carlson'" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, "'Doug Schepers'" <schepers@w3.org>
Cc: "'Karl Dubost'" <karl@w3.org>, "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>, "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>, "'John Foliot'" <foliot@wats.ca>, "'Gez Lemon'" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, "'Al Gilman'" <alfred.s.gilman@ieee.org>, <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <060601c90399$c4bd7500$4e385f00$@com>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of Laura Carlson
> Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 8:13 AM
> To: Doug Schepers
> Cc: Karl Dubost; Ian Hickson; HTML WG; W3C WAI-XTECH; wai-
> liaison@w3.org; John Foliot; Gez Lemon; Al Gilman; w3c-wai-pf@w3.org
> Subject: Mandatory and Important
> The question of should HTML5 throw out mandatory alt and write
> optional alt into the spec to sanction for *one* use case (so flickr
> et al doesn't have to bother with accessibility, can be blessed as
> valid, and corporations can rack up more profit$) is a very slippery
> slope.
> Optional alt is a way to codify and bless bad tools. Writing in
> optional alt will give corporations more profit.
> It's the elephant in the room. And until someone either comes up with
> a solution that maintains the integrity of the markup while addressing
> their business needs, or addresses putting the business requirements
> above the integrity of the markup, everyone is wasting time arguing
> about edge cases.

I think that you are overestimating the power of the spec. If we write something that is largely ignored, it isn't like the browsers will not render the page, or throw up a big warning. HTML authoring tools will gladly *not* provide error messages for this if user testing deems it too obnoxious. And so on.

My *personal* belief is that @alt falls into this "third category" (as defined by someone else yesterday) of element... not required for technical reasons (@src is required for technical reasons... and image without a @src is usefless), but required nonetheless. But I also recognize that making @alt mandatory is more a matter of principle and less of an effective measure that will actually accomplish anything.

Received on Thursday, 21 August 2008 14:26:42 UTC

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