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RE: Request for review of alt and alt value for authoring or publishing tools

From: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 12:42:57 -0700
To: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'Tomas Caspers'" <tomas@tomascaspers.de>
Cc: <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>, "'HTML4All'" <list@html4all.org>
Message-ID: <006601c89f30$e92aec10$cf2a42ab@stanford.edu>

Ian Hickson wrote:
>> 
>> The same would be true if the AT involved simply read out the
>> filename, as some of them do in absence of an alt-Attribute.
> 
> Indeed the AT itself could read out the "1 of 4" thing -- and at least
> then there would be a reasonably good chance of the numbering being
> correct, which would not be the case if we relied on the author. :-)


But this is not the case being suggested in the draft spec.  To whit, the
draft suggests that a user employing an automated system to up-load 3000
vacation photos <sic> cannot or will not supply alternative text, and the
spec suggests that the automated system be excused from attempting to
improve this.  Some suggestions have emerged, the least helpful from an
accessibility perspective is providing *nothing* by making the alt attribute
optional.

I argue that there is some responsibility for the tool (web-app) to play a
role (one of the reasons why a request has gone out to the AUWG and UAWG
folks at W3C), and that one way of ensuring that tools assume their
responsibility in the equation is to insist that some alternative text be
provided to be "conformant" - it places a burden of effort upon them to
facilitate the addition of alternative text to images.  

Henri S. has classified this as possibly being "faked" content, without
stopping to think if there is a way to minimize the amount of faked or
spurious alternative text being generated; I continue to advocate reserved
values in lieu of any other suggestion, but curiously await feedback from
the afore-mentioned W3C working groups.

JF
Received on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 19:43:49 UTC

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