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Re: [html4all] New issue: IMG section of HTML5 draft contradicts WCAG 1 & WCAG 2 (draft)

From: Ben 'Cerbera' Millard <cerbera@projectcerbera.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 12:33:59 +0100
Message-ID: <007801c89bc7$f1d34090$0301a8c0@ben9xr3up2lv7v>
To: "Philip TAYLOR" <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>, "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: "HTMLWG" <public-html@w3.org>

Philip TAYLOR wrote:
> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> Saying that the program should emit alt='' would lose information  about 
>> lack of data vs. marking the image as decorative.)
> Why could the program not emit something along the lines of
> 'alt="<no ALT text available>"'

If that's a useful thing for users to get for images with absent alt text, 
the UA or AT could handle it. Specifically, markup like this:

    <img src>

Would, in effect, be adjusted by the UA or AT to this:

    <img src alt="No text.">

A text-to-speech device could putting an announcement such as "Image" before 
or after, depending on user verbosity levels. So, for the alt-less markup, 
the user would hear this:

    "Image: No text."

Or this:

    "No text (Image)."

In this way, omitting the alt for images where not alt is available at least 
gives UAs and ATs a *chance* to do something useful. If these images used 
alt="", UAs and ATs would ignore it and the user would be unaware they were 
missing something.

It's only in the worst case scenario that absent alt is better than alt="" 
or alt with a bogus value. Sensible alt text is preferable to all of this 
wherever it is possible, of course. This is what the current spec draft 
says, AFAICT:


Ben 'Cerbera' Millard
Collections of Interesting Data Tables
Received on Friday, 11 April 2008 11:36:33 UTC

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