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[Bug 14150] I am a photographer as well as a hand-coding web designer. One thing that frustrates me is the duplicity between alt="" and title="" for photographs and photographers. For instance: <img class="thumbnail" alt="David Kyles" title="David Kyles Shock and Awe

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 15:26:34 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1R6lAY-00017G-OR@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=14150

--- Comment #4 from html5bugs@gmail.com 2011-09-22 15:26:31 UTC ---
Thanks. I didn't really anticipate much of a response. Your comprehensive
responses are much appreciated.

I just felt so strongly that I needed to express my feelings.

Over 13 years of web developing, and especially now that HTML 5 is being
finalized, it became clear to me how overwhelmingly important it is to at least
*attempt* to correct the mistake of hiding valuable data inside the alt tag.

As long as this message gets through effectively, I am happy, and the future is
brighter. You don't even need to read on in this message.

The interpretations and applications of it are manifold and cascading.

* Don't ever let valuable information be hidden in the alt tag (hidden means
useful in SOME way to someone even who can see the image; info that is truly
available by virtue of seeing the image would not be "hidden" by the alt tag)
* Don't ever duplicate data inside and outside the alt tag. HTML needs to be
advanced to the point that data visible from outside the alt tag can be
correlated with the image. title="..." seems like the perfect way to do that,
and no change is necessary to HTML.
* Don't ever force people to say alt="" in order to prove that an image has no
alternative representation (what's up with that? passing an HTML validation
test by inserting dummy code is crazy and ideas like that do not belong in a
language specification as it has been in past specifications--hopefully it
won't be in HTML 5)

It's a lot more clear when doing hand-coding. With computer-aided HTML
authoring it is easy, for instance, with perl: alt="$descrip" title="$descrip"
(You probably wince almost as much as I do at that abominable mis-use of
attributes.)

HTML and related technologies are like a "baby" to me. For 5-6 years I used to
spend never less than 10 hours per day doing programming, often 16
hours/day--in the same path as Ian Hickson, David Hyatt, Christoph Pfisterer,
Colin Percival and other contemporaries who are significantly responsible for
the success of Amazon.com, Apple, etc. (Financial analysts and marketing gurus
don't ever give enough credit to the brilliant programmers behind successful
computer-based businesses.) Unlike them, I stopped before I made any
influential contributions. About the same time that they achieved great
success, I diverged from such intense participation in HTML, Mozilla, Camino,
Firebird/Firefox, etc., and achieved my mathematics doctorate, and now try to
teach others, by inspiration of those like Franz Liszt, Jesus Christ, and
others. I feel like a failure after being back at the beginning of college
algebra for the 20th time (just like I had failed math 19 times, so I have to
start over). But it's all worth it to make a positive difference in others'
lives. 

I don't have time anymore even to maintain my own websites or pages about
programming. (And honestly, I haven't even checked back on this "bug" for
nearly a week. I apologize.)

But when something seems to be going wrong in HTML, I just feel like I have a
_duty_ to chime in.

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Received on Thursday, 22 September 2011 15:26:36 GMT

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