[uf-new] img alt content (was:hAudio implemented on Bitmunk (with one snag))

Scott Reynen scott at makedatamakesense.com
Tue Jul 10 15:10:14 PDT 2007

On Jul 10, 2007, at 2:16 PM, Andy Mabbett wrote:

>> Many publishers go against many aspects of the HTML 4.01  
>> specification
>> yes, not in the least by publishing invalid content.
> Is the best way to encourage "POSH" to adhere to standards, or to  
> pander
> to those who break them?

If we had more control of web publishing, I would support pushing  
complete adherence to HTML specs.  But we don't, so we have to  
balance de jure standards with de facto standards.  We treat all alt  
values as content at the risk of discouraging publishers who use alt  
values for non-content from using microformats.  Whether or not  
that's a worthwhile trade-off depends on how many publishers we're  
talking about.

> Perhaps it
> would be a good idea if you could provide at least a minimum amount of
> such evidence; preferably with URLs

Indeed, we should collect more examples of how alt is used in  
practice, because that's a very important factor in deciding how we  
should treat them.  But if we're just collecting such examples with  
an eye toward supporting pre-determined conclusions, there's really  
no point.

> Can you give a real world example of someone publishing such "garbage"
> alt text, pertinent to microformats (and again with URLs as above),
> which does not violate the HTML specs, please?

While the HTML specs are a very important consideration, they are not  
the only consideration.  While encouraging adherence to HTML, we need  
to recognize that such adherence is quite rare in practice.  How many  
of us even have perfectly valid websites?  Complete adherence to HTML  
is simply not a practical criteria to apply without concession on  
today's web.  We should push it where we can and choose those battles  

Scott Reynen

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