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CP: role=img trumps empty alt (ISSUE-206: meta-generator)

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2012 05:10:48 +0200
To: public-html@w3.org, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20120804051048341018.007a4ee9@xn--mlform-iua.no>
I hereby offer an alternative change proposal that does NOT add any new 


Please do not hesitate to provide feedback! Naturally, I am especially 
interested in hearing from those who are critical of Ted's proposal as 
well as from those who are critical of mine proposal!


Generators might continue their current practise of adding empty @alt 
when the user fails to add alternative text *provided* that the 
generator also adds a role=img to the element. Teachable moment — 
example — note how the role attribute contradicts the implied semantics 
of the empty alt attribute:

<img alt="" role="img" src="file" />

The proposal focuses on getting authors to do something that more 
obviously and factually is good, namely, to add  role=img which, on AT, 
has the effect that the image becomes announced (despite the empty alt 
attribute). Secondly, it focuses on working with the trends — validator 
silencing and ARIA – rather than against them.

By contrast, the @relaxed/@incomplete proposals, suggest a rather 
convoluted set of actions which has a much lower chance of being 
understood and fulfilled, and thus a much smaller chance of actually 
improving anything for AT users, and also a low chance of actually 
getting a good following:

* meeting generator developers with the expectation that they want
  to save ass — rather than kick ass;
* teaching generator developers the semantics of 'no @alt';
* getting generator devs to actually remove the @alt;
* getting generator devs to add a particular, new attribute which
  only seeks to escape the validator and to - more or less 
  obviously - stamp the element as being of lower quality.

Instead of all this: Just keep everything as is (empty alt) and add 
role=img. When an <img> has both the empty @alt plus role=img, then 
this cps asks conformance checkers to perform the same kind of 
notification as the two alternative proposals suggest when the image 
has a @relaxed/@incomplete attribute.
Leif Halvard Silli
Received on Saturday, 4 August 2012 03:11:21 UTC

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