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Re: [A11y] requiring alt Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 15:40:15 -0400
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <20070624193803.M34906@hicom.net>

Maciej Stachowiak wrote, quote:
Such content is not necessarily poorly authored. To once again cite  
my favorite example, consider <http://flickr.com/photos/othermaciej>.  
The photo images on it are semantically meaningful (they are the  
whole point of the page), but alt text would not really improve  
accessibility of this page. Repeating the titles and captions on the  
photos would be pointless and would also not provide something that's  
actually an alternative for the image
unquote

then why do you not have long descriptions of your photos?

it IS an authoring problem -- you can only describe the photo with a 
long description -- a caption does not a long description make; a 
long description makes sense out of the purely visual elements on 
the page -- not just "Maciej Crossing the North Sea", but a description 
of your physical characteristics, the type of boat you are travelling in, 
the color and tenor of the sky and sea, etc.

gregory.
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SYLLOGISM, n.  A logical formula consisting of a major and a minor 
assumption and an inconsequent.                  -- Ambrose Bierce
------------------------------------------------------------------
             Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
         Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
UBATS - United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org
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---------- Original Message -----------
From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Lachlan Hunt 
<lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, public-html@w3.org
Sent: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 19:06:03 -0700
Subject: Re: [A11y] requiring alt Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

> On Jun 18, 2007, at 6:44 PM, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> 
> > On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 03:08:53 +0200, Maciej Stachowiak  
> > <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
> >
> >> 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.
> >
> > So if it were not required, you would have alt="" on things that  
> > need no text, alt="useful information" on things that are useful  
> > information, and nothing on poorly authored content which may or  
> > may not need an alt attribute?
> 
> Such content is not necessarily poorly authored. To once again 
> cite  my favorite example, consider 
> <http://flickr.com/photos/othermaciej>.  The photo images on it 
> are semantically meaningful (they are the  whole point of the 
> page), but alt text would not really improve  accessibility of 
> this page. Repeating the titles and captions on the  photos 
> would be pointless and would also not provide something that's 
>  actually an alternative for the image.
> 
> > The approach we took in ATAG 1 was to require noting that the  
> > absence of alt is an error, but also require that no default be  
> > generated, which is in line with this thinking...
> 
> Sadly, sometimes tools and web app authors feel compelled to 
> make  their output pass validators. So flickr for example puts 
> alt="" on my  photos for me.
> 
> Regards,
> Maciej
------- End of Original Message -------
Received on Sunday, 24 June 2007 19:41:41 GMT

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