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Re: Mandatory and Important

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 13:10:39 -0400
Message-ID: <5BD23328D90D4A279B3B10451B291733@HANDS>
To: "Al Gilman" <alfred.s.gilman@ieee.org>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>, "Dave Singer" <singer@apple.com>
Cc: "Doug Schepers" <schepers@w3.org>, "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>


Your concern is valid but fixable at the time of input in most cases.  In 
the case of the word documents, the service can stipulate that the document 
be accompanied by the data to support the images.

We don't live in a perfect world, but none of the proposed fixes will gain 
us what we are after.  If we decide that {unknown} or some other or 
combination of strings sound be inserted, those who do have control over 
what goes in will be inserting them for one reason or another instead of 
what should be provided.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dave Singer" <singer@apple.com>
To: "David Poehlman" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>; "Al Gilman" 
<alfred.s.gilman@ieee.org>; "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: "Doug Schepers" <schepers@w3.org>; "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>; "W3C 
WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: Mandatory and Important

At 12:44  -0400 22/08/08, David Poehlman wrote:
>most sane tools should warn that it is missing and not pass it forcing the
>proper attention to it.  @role still does not cover what can only be human
>judgements till we get machines that can parse images and make textual 
>out of them.

You cannot assume that the person providing input to the tool that
makes HTML was the author of the input, and you cannot assume that
there is anyone to report to at the time the HTML is being made.

Consider a hypothetical service which takes word documents in a drop
box and later makes HTML pages.  The generation happens after the
drop, the person dropping the document may not have written them
anyway, and word has no field for alt text of images.  The tool
should make functional, comformant HTML.  Clearly it cannot invent
alt text, and so it cannot conform to WCAG, but we should at least
make sure that consumers of the HTML are not *mis*-led although if
they cannot see images there may be semantics missing.

alt="" role="unknown"

something else?

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Dave Singer" <singer@apple.com>
>To: "David Poehlman" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>; "Al Gilman"
><alfred.s.gilman@ieee.org>; "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
>Cc: "Doug Schepers" <schepers@w3.org>; "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>; "W3C
>WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
>Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 12:30 PM
>Subject: Re: Mandatory and Important
>At 10:05  -0400 22/08/08, David Poehlman wrote:
>>not optional, missing.  If it is missing it breaks spec but is still
>>so tools/authors need to fix it so that it is not missing.  The {} for
>>instance was the hack to prevent missing.  I am saying that it should be
>But if missing is non-conformant, most sane tool authors will insert
>it to avoid a conformance failure.
>Then they insert alt="" (a lie) or alt="random text" (useless).
>Look, honestly, I don't want to sound harsh, and I value the
>dialogue, but until someone is actually willing to provide an
>alternative answer to the question -- not duck it, change it, or deny
>the problem exists -- we are just annoying each other.  The spec. at
>least contains *an* answer, and it seems as if the discussion of role
>might converge on another.
>David Singer

David Singer
Received on Friday, 22 August 2008 17:11:21 UTC

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