W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-bugzilla@w3.org > June 2010

[Bug 9937] New: alt text is brief; example 6.1 should be modified or deleted

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 14:32:50 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-9937-2486@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=9937

           Summary: alt text is brief; example 6.1 should be modified or
                    deleted
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: PC
               URL: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2010Jun/
                    0002.html
        OS/Version: Windows NT
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: alt techniques (editor: Steven Faulkner)
        AssignedTo: faulkner.steve@gmail.com
        ReportedBy: faulkner.steve@gmail.com
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: oedipus@hicom.net, mike@w3.org, public-html@w3.org,
                    faulkner.steve@gmail.com


feedback from gregory

overall, i am really impressed with the work you've done on
the HTML5 Techniques for providing useful text alternatives
draft (congrats on getting a public draft approved) -- but in
re-reading and discussing the draft i've run into the same reaction
i first had when i reviewed an earlier draft of the document, and i
believe it is an example that you inherited from a previous HTML5
draft:

QUOTE source="http://dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/#images-enhance"

Example 6.1
Here is an example of an image closely related to the subject matter of
the page content but not directly discussed. An image of a painting
inspired by a poem, on a page reciting that poem. The following snippet
shows an example. The image is a painting titled the "Lady of Shallot",
it is inspired by the poem and its subject matter is derived from the
poem. Therefore it is strongly recommended that a text alternative is
provided. The description of the content of the image would be redundant
for users who can view the image, so the appropriate place to put it is
in the alt attribute.

Example code:

<hgroup><h1>The Lady of Shalott</h1>
<h2>A poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson</h2></hgroup>
<figure><img src="shalott.jpeg" alt="A painting of a young women with
long hair sitting in a wooden boat, she is wearing a flowing white
dress. A large piece of intricately patterned fabric is draped over
the side. In her right hand she holds the chain mooring the boat. Her
expression is mournful. She stares at a crucifix lying in front of
her. Beside it are three candles. Two have blown out."></figure>
UNQUOTE

example 6.1 is a poor example of alt text useage, and as such should
be deleted or modified -- alt text is the brief "at a glance" or
"congnative thumbnail", so the extremely long value defined for the
example isn't appropriate as alt text, but as a concise long
description; alt text needs to be terse for a number of reasons,
including usability, extremely limited viewports, small amount of video
"real estate" (iPad and smaller devices) etc.

358 characters isn't a terse descriptor or cognative thumbnail -- this
seems to me a case where a picture may be worth at least 358 words, but
only make me listen to all 365 if i want/need to if i ask for it,
explicitly or via user preferences -- i also need a means of being
alerted that a longer description is available, and, if need be, need
to have side-by-side exposition of longdesc with image option available,
for someone with an EXTREMELY limited viewport or a user with a cognative
disability with or without AT, who is attempting to compile a
comprehensive view of the image being described

is this something that can be fixed?  do you think it advisable to
state only "terse, short, cognitive thumbnails, such as those used
in the examples below" be used for alt values, as i for one would not
want to set a hard cap on the MaxValue of alt text, but do want
developers/content creators to realize just what alt text actually
is and what longer descriptors are, as well as the need for robust
support for them

-- 
Configure bugmail: http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/userprefs.cgi?tab=email
------- You are receiving this mail because: -------
You are the QA contact for the bug.
Received on Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:32:52 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:32:52 GMT