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

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2012 12:30:06 +0100
Message-ID: <CAEhSh3f8geZ5f5+5T1+PbvZw5j48GmiChyFVe5k=jWxTANgF3Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: "Michael[tm] Smith" <mike@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
On Sat, Aug 4, 2012 at 11:21 AM, Steve Faulkner
<faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> We also have another negative siganl which is at the root of the issue
> the lack of alt
> In cases where there is lack of alt attribute, in
> conforming HTML5 documents  this is supposed to signify that the image
> is a key part of the content which should have a text alternative but
> one is not available at the time of publication. The allowing of a
> validator flag is built upon this concept.
>
> So either the concept is flawed and should be removed from HTML5 or
> the concept is sound and the addition of the attribute will provide
> such indication unabiguously.

The absence of @alt is an unambiguous indication that the image should
have a text alternative. Doesn't necessarily mean it's key to
understanding the content though. A lot of syndicated articles have
photos that are basically filler.

User agents (as opposed to linters) have to treat images without @alt
with or without the linter flag the same, because significant images
without @alt are common in the web corpus and will likely continue to
be so. So I don't see any great value in surfacing such a flag to the
accessibility hierarchy. As long as its a flag added as a distinct
field in the API, I guess that's okay, but I think it's a waste of
spec and development effort. But it's critical not to expose it in a
way that would break existing user agent behavior, for example forcing
text into the accessible name so that existing user agent repair
mechanisms (e.g. reading the filename) and user agent configurations
for rendering or not rendering such images stop working.

--
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Saturday, 4 August 2012 11:30:55 GMT

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