Against Common Sense

Go, John, Go!


John, you are making great progress, keep up the good work!

I’m providing leadership for a large university Web effort. I just can’t imagine putting HTML5 before our people and stating that alt is optional and summary is obsolete (no one will even see conformant; they’ll stop at obsolete).

It goes against common sense, and our people are blessed with an abundance of that. These are very smart people we’re talking about. They pay close attention to details, and they want to do things the right way.

Real World Challenges

Just today we had a faculty member call us to tell us that the LIFT text transcoder wasn’t working properly. She had ALL-TEXT PAGES. It took a great effort to convince her that LIFT wasn’t needed for all-text pages, they pass already. She was trying to conform to the letter of the law and provide a text alternative for every page. These are the people to whom we CANNOT give a spec in which alt is optional and summary is obsolete. End of story.

I know that we should provide training. We do and two people show up. I know that we should have Web resources. We do but no one has time to read. We should have more hours in the day, but due to the state budget crisis, we’re on furlough 24 days this year. In weeks with furlough days in them we are restricted to 32 hours of work, period, the end. I’m not working now at 11:30 at night because this is my own personal blog, but I have work piled up like cord wood that isn’t getting done right now and that includes getting around to all 4,000 faculty, staff and administrators to see how they’re doing with our Web template system, XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and Section 508. Not going to happen, is it?

Common Sense

So when HTML5 is ready for primetime I hope that it follows WCAG 2.0 and common sense, or we won’t be able to use it.