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

Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 13:40:47 -0400
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <20070624173902.M16436@hicom.net>

Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> 

Maciej Stachowiak wrote, quote:

ALT should not be required either. It leads to pointless alt="" on  
images that have no reasonable text equivalent, just to satisfy  
conformance checkers. And that is actively harmful, because AT can't  
tell the difference between a semantically null image and a  
semantically meaningful image with no text alternative.

unquote

again, this is a confusion between poor authoring practices, rather 
than a problem with either the alt attribute or the summary attribute...

quote
it isn't up to the AT to determine quote the difference between a 
semantically null image and a  semantically meaningful image with 
no text alternative.
unquote

no, it is up to the author slash authoring tool to provide MEANINGFUL 
alt text, and for the AT to render that alt text, whether or not image 
loading is turned on or off...

bottom line:
1) the "alt" attribute MUST be maintained as a required attribute to 
purely graphical content

2) the "summary" attribute MUST be maintained as a required attribute 
for TABLE

--------------------------------------------------------------
DISCUSSION, n.  A method of confirming others in their errors.
                     -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
--------------------------------------------------------------
           Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
       Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
--------------------------------------------------------------

---------- Original Message -----------
From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
Cc: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, public-html@w3.org
Sent: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 18:08:53 -0700
Subject: Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

> On Jun 18, 2007, at 10:24 AM, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> 
> >
> > Lachlan Hunt wrote, quote:
> >> No, even if the summary attribute were added to HTML5, it
> >> certainly shouldn't be required.
> > unquote
> >
> > why not?  CAPTION is akin to ALT text - it provides a terse  
> > description
> > of the object that cannot be visually perceived; the summary attribute
> > itself serves the same purpose as LONGDESC (which provides a detailed
> > description, orientational material, etc.)
> 
> ALT should not be required either. It leads to pointless alt="" 
> on  images that have no reasonable text equivalent, just to 
> satisfy  conformance checkers. And that is actively harmful, 
> because AT can't  tell the difference between a semantically 
> null image and a  semantically meaningful image with no text 
alternative.
> 
> Regards,
> Maciej
------- End of Original Message -------
Received on Sunday, 24 June 2007 17:40:58 GMT

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