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[Bug 10481] Default role of <IMG> should be "img"

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Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2010 19:55:26 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1OuWAY-0004ai-9E@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10481





--- Comment #41 from Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>  2010-09-11 19:55:24 ---
(In reply to comment #39)
> I am not disagreeing that the editor intent or desire is to forbid user agents
> from mapping an <img alt="some text"> to a graphic role in platform
> accessibility APIs, but unless it is specified, it is not correct to say that
> user agents need to do it, it is not up to anybody to try to divine what the
> editor has specified by omission.

Reading any text involves opinions about intent, but that's a theoretical
quibble: in this case, I think it *is* specified, even if the specification
could be clearer.

The spec says: "User agents may apply different defaults than those described
in this section in order to expose the semantics of HTML elements in a manner
more fine-grained than possible with the above definitions." It doesn't say
that user agents can apply different defaults using the existing ARIA roles.

Clearly, it's possible to express the image-ness of an "img" using an implied
ARIA role of "img", so I don't think the spec gives licence to UAs to present
"img" with "alt" with an implied role of "img".

I think a UA seeking to claim conformance might be able to work around this
with a bit of rules lawyering, but I don't think we should rely on that if
discarding the information that such elements represent images is unsafe.

I'm sympathetic to Ian's concern to avoiding cluttering speech/text/braille
renderings with irrelevant information, but I agree with you (comment #5) that
discarding the information that "img" is an image is unsafe and I agree with
Shelley (comment #22) that it's inconsistent with how "img" itself is now
defined.

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