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[Bug 9215] Provide a Webcam example that is in accord with WCAG 2 or Defer to "HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives"

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 09:01:30 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1NvRta-0003tM-Bu@wiggum.w3.org>

--- Comment #11 from Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>  2010-03-27 09:01:29 ---
(In reply to comment #9)
> I think it's reasonable to suggest that any text in the image should be
> provided in textual form, but I would be shocked to see any accessibility
> expert suggest that was an adequate replacement for the image. Laura, could you
> comment on this? What is your opinion on the matter? Your replies to comment 2
> and comment 4 would be most appreciated.


Hi Ian,

>From WCAG:

"1.1.1 Non-text Content: All non-text content that is presented to the user has
a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose, except for the
situations listed below. (Level A)"
"Time-Based Media:  If non-text content is time-based media, then text
alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text

> http://www.hb9bza.net/netcam/
> http://www.goldengatebridge.org/
> http://observatories.hodar.com/webcams.html

Right now I can not access these examples. I'm on 56K dialup, with images
turned off. And video grinds everything to a halt so I don't bother with it
here at home.

For general advice, the "HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text
alternatives" document is spot on. It says:

"To determine appropriate text alternatives it is important to think about why
an image is being included in a document. What is its purpose? Thinking like
this will help you to understand what is important about the image for the
page's intended audience. Every image has a reason for being on a page because
it either provides useful information, performs a function, or enhances
aesthetics. Therefore, knowing what the image is for, makes writing appropriate
text alternatives easier."

So evaluate the purpose of the webcam image. 

Much of the time, a short text description will be sufficient. That's what I
would like to know right now about the example images that you are linking to.
What are they? Providing a short text alternative that identifies would be

Steve mentioned "aerial view of geneva" for an alt. That is useful to me right
now. It gives me something...instead of nothing. Thanks, Steve. 

Brainstorming this further...

Maybe we need the "missing" attribute suggested in Bug 9213 [2] to crowdsource
[3] webcam images? It could be like live-tweeting an event. 

[1] http://dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/
[2] http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=9213
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing

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