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Re: Investigating the proposed alt attribute recommendations in HTML 5

From: Steve Faulkner <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 08:34:44 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80709120034y4587e3c4r9c30ced7dbc8282@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: "John Foliot" <foliot@wats.ca>, "HTMLWG WG" <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org
Hi Henri,

> the point the
>message made was that what the draft says now is not good because it
>exposes a major usability bug in the current version of JAWS.

As I wrote in the article, and have stated previously  in this thread, this
issue affects at least JAWS versions 6.1 to 8.0 (those I have tested) and
Window Eyes 6.0 (probably previous versions, but have not tested). So it is
not a usability bug in just one version of JAWS.

I am waiting on the people to supply more sample URLs, before I embark on
another round of testing which will include other screen readers, so a more
complete picture can be provided.

>The issue remains, though, that there exist and will exist unattended
>systems that put images on generated HTML pages and don't have human-
>authored alt text available. Document conformance requirements need
>to be set in such a way that developers of unattended systems will
>end up doing the least harm when making their systems meet machine-
>checkable conformance criteria.

Agreed, but is leaving the alt attribute out in these cases the best
solution?
What is required is a method that both solves the problem above and provides
a clear indication to UA's that the image does contain important content
that has not been provided.

FYI

mike davies has written about the alt issue and brings up some
interesting points about the user agent accessibility guidelines:

The price of omitting the alt -
http://www.isolani.co.uk/blog/access/ThePriceOfOmittingTheAlt

On 12/09/2007, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi> wrote:

>
> (Reply to the earlier parts of the message sent to www-archive.)
>
> On Sep 11, 2007, at 21:36, John Foliot wrote:
> [...]
> > But we *must* think beyond creating a spec that serves "JAWS".
> > Once upon a
> > time Netscape 4 ruled the web, and creating a spec that caters to a
> > single
> > technology is wrong.
>
> I'm not advocating catering to a single technology. However, as I
> understood the message that started this thread, the point the
> message made was that what the draft says now is not good because it
> exposes a major usability bug in the current version of JAWS.
>
> [...]
> > Suggesting however that allowing "nothing" as part of the spec
> > cannot be seen as a positive step forward - a message that has been
> > consistent from some quarters since the beginning.
>
> The issue remains, though, that there exist and will exist unattended
> systems that put images on generated HTML pages and don't have human-
> authored alt text available. Document conformance requirements need
> to be set in such a way that developers of unattended systems will
> end up doing the least harm when making their systems meet machine-
> checkable conformance criteria.
>
> --
> Henri Sivonen
> hsivonen@iki.fi
> http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
>
>
>
>


-- 
with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium

www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Web Accessibility Toolbar -
http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
Received on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 07:34:50 UTC

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