W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > August 2012

Re: img@relaxed CP [was: CfC: Close ISSUE-206: meta-generator by Amicable Resolution]

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2012 03:38:45 +0100
Message-ID: <CAEhSh3ebqfoWxdR1bN4W8Bu0h1KhW38pK6qd88DCZamiNn1rtA@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Cc: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "Michael[tm] Smith" <mike@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org, public-html-a11y@w3.org, "Edward O'Connor" <eoconnor@apple.com>
On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 12:58 AM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:
> On the Mac side of the aisle, VoiceOver today will read the file name (I believe whether it is a link or not, but cannot confirm at this writing).

Just tested in Mountain Lion. By default yes. Depends on your
"Navigate Images" setting. If you set it to "With Descriptions" rather
than the default of "Always" it skips alt-less images. I don't have an
iPhone to confirm, but apparently iOS has an equivalent setting:


> It is not a weakness of a validation tool to report all errors, it is (IMHO) a strength. That multiple errors are being reported to engineers who cannot control the whole end-to-end output can be annoying, that I get. Good! Be annoyed, fight hard to make them go away by pushing within your organization to actually fix the errors, rather than mask them behind a special switch that does the end user no practical good. It's a false solution: Quality Control without the quality is nothing but control...

You're not factoring into the equation the potential cost to end users
of reduced markup interoperability and accessibility due to developers
screening out @alt complaints or abandoning the linter altogether …

> The insertion of that attribute is as non-useful as inserting alt="" from the final perspective of the (non-sighted) end user, and does nothing to actually remedy the real problem. Since a null value is in fact an acceptable value for @alt however, it *is* conformant, it does silence screen readers

Hiding images from users in this way can make things worse. Users who
have configured their software to alert them to images with missing
alternatives cannot so easily discover the images to ask friends or
colleagues or use technology (however limited) to try and identify the
content. (JAWS is now shipping with on-board Convenient OCR that can
be applied to extract text from images for example.) It would be
fairly suboptimal if corporate wiki software started throwing alt=""
on all embedded charts and diagrams for example.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Thursday, 2 August 2012 02:39:36 UTC

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