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Re: Investigating the proposed alt attribute recommendations in HTML 5

From: Jon Barnett <jonbarnett@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 20:41:50 -0500
Message-ID: <bde87dd20708291841r650525c0rc27a4a62d7c7ae6e@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Gez Lemon" <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Cc: "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org

On 8/29/07, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Jon,
>
> On 29/08/2007, Jon Barnett <jonbarnett@gmail.com> wrote:
> > One of the conclusions is that accessibility is harmed by omitting
> > @alt because JAWS will instead read the filename (or the entire @src
> > attribute).  Is it helpful that JAWS does this at all?  Is it ever
> > helpful for JAWS to simply spout out the filename of an image instead
> > of simply announcing "Embedded Graphic" for the image with omitted
> > @alt.  Regardless of conformance requirements, I'm trying to
> > understand why JAWS is doing that.
>
> If nothing else is available, the image name is chose, as
> it might reveal something about the image's function, such as
> pigflying.jpg. This is generally true for small websites, but,
> unfortunately, not the case for huge websites, such as image sharing
> websites where the name is generated by the system.
>
Indeed.  I would bet that filenames are not helpful in the majority of
cases, which would make that behavior strange if not harmful.  I'd
rather be inundated with "Embedded Graphic" than "one billion nine
hundred..." etc.  But specifying alt="" just to prevent the reader
from announcing a filename seems like a bad workaround that hurts
semantics.

Does JAWS first fall back to @title instead of @src?  If so, that
would be better.  All of the @alt attributes on that page would serve
better as @title attributes - they're descriptions, not alternates.
(And in turn, I wouldn't be opposed to requiring @title when @alt is
omitted)

leif halvard silli quoted the HTML5 draft:
>«If this attribute is omitted from an element, then it
> implies that the title attribute of the nearest ancestor
> with a title attribute set is also relevant to this element.»

I don't like how that sounds, and Maciej highlighted that.  It implies
that the @title in an ancestor <p> applies to an <img>.  It's relevant
in that the <img> is part of the ancestor paragraph, but it shouldn't
imply that the @title applies directly to the image...  I'm not even
sure that sentence is necessary.

-- 
Jon Barnett
Received on Thursday, 30 August 2007 01:41:56 UTC

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