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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, 15 Sep 2011 14:33:23 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1R4D0F-0003i5-27@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=14150

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--- Comment #2 from html5bugs@gmail.com 2011-09-15 14:33:20 UTC ---
Ian, actually your link gives an even better example of the problem.

Read the alternate text that is shown in the example:


"The desktop is blue, with icons along the left hand side in
           two columns, reading System, Home, K-Mail, etc. A window is
           open showing that menus wrap to a second line if they
           cannot fit in the window. The window has a list of icons
           along the top, with an address bar below it, a list of
           icons for tabs along the left edge, a status bar on the
           bottom, and two panes in the middle. The desktop has a bar
           at the bottom of the screen with a few buttons, a pager, a
           list of open applications, and a clock."

Besides the fact that hard wrapping and indentation destroy future usability of
the text, this alternative text is the horrible.

All of those things mentioned in the alternative text would be useful even for
someone viewing the image--highlighting things like the menus wrapping to a
second line--because no one except for the creator of KDE light would be paying
special attention to this unless it was pointed out to them.

Since alt text is hidden from users viewing the image, a no-win situation is
created. In order to show ordinary users the text, the text needs to be moved
outside the alt tag. In order to place the text inside the alt tag as well and
associate it with the "alternative text" of the image, then a web developer
must commit the ultimate crime against semantic meaningfulness--copying and
pasting identical information.

My position is that ANY information, whether suitable for alternative text or
not, which has meaning for a user actually viewing the image, needs to be
allowed to be associated with the image in such a way that it is clear how the
role of the text correlates to the image, and that it also provides several
BETTER ways of providing alternative text with MORE semantic meaning than
copying and pasting data from outside the image (or inside the title attribute)
to inside of the alt attribute.

So what I am saying is that there is WAY too much false information about the
alt tag making it sound as though information literally needs to be copied and
pasted.

The standards should encourage authors to provide information that is more
meaningfully tagged and less conflicting that the alt tag. The inherent problem
with the alt tag is that it tries to decide to hide or show the data it
contains depending on whether the image is shown. Data which is available to
the user regardless of whether the image is shown is infinitely better.

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Received on Thursday, 15 September 2011 14:33:25 UTC

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