W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2007

Re: unifying alternate content across embedded content element types

From: Jon Barnett <jonbarnett@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 08:44:25 -0500
Message-ID: <bde87dd20707150644p4f95830bw8891b3c8c752c87@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Robert Burns" <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: "Patrick Garies" <pgaries@fastmail.us>, public-html@w3.org

On 7/15/07, Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com> wrote:
>
> My contention (and this was a point I think Jon was making too), is
> that when a textual equivalent describing the image is already in the
> surrounding  prose, it shouldn't be repeated for the @alt attribute.

Yes, that's a part of what I was saying.

> My proposal was something shorter that let's the user know what
> meaning the image conveys in a way that matches it with the prose
> available to all users.

Sorry for my ambiguous use of the word "alternate".  By "equivalent"
!= "alternate", I meant that "equivalent" is a subset of "alternate".

Sometimes alternate content is used as a drop-in equivalent:
Completely replacing the image with the equivalent content doesn't
change the meaning of the document

Sometimes alternate content is used as a description of the media:
Complete replacing the image with the descriptive (alternate) content
doesn't make sense unless you let the user know that something is
missing.

And my proposal is that the same markup used to provide equivalent
(alternate) content shouldn't be the same as the markup used to
descriptive (alternate) content.

With relation to this thread, I meant that I don't like <object alt>
as a mechanism for "short alternative" content.  Would it be an
equivalent to the <object>, or would it be a description of the
object?  I think it has too much potential for misuse in the same way
<img alt> is being misused.  (And the fact that professionals can
disagree on <img alt> tell me that it's not defined well enough)

<p>A paragraph about Fluffy's kittenhood...
<img src="fluffy-yarn.jpg" alt="">
<p>On Saturday, Fluffy was playing with a ball of red yarn in my
living room.  It was quite funny.

In this context @alt isn't necessary.

<p>A paragraph about Fluffy's kittenhood...
<img src="fluffy-yarn.jpg" alt="On Saturday, Fluffy was playing with a
ball of red yarn in my living room.  It was quite funny.">
<!-- no following paragraph -->

In this context, @alt is necessary to provide equivalent content for
the image.  Completely replacing the image with the @alt content
doesn't change the meaning of the document.

<object data="monty-python.mpg">

</object>

Jon Barnett
Received on Sunday, 15 July 2007 13:44:27 UTC

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