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Re: there are markup options [was: Re: img/alt summary attempt]

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 17:15:43 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560804151415k59e19011h96e367d2af543625@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "Al Gilman" <Alfred.S.Gilman@ieee.org>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, "public html for all" <list@html4all.org>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>

On 4/15/08, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Apr 2008, Al Gilman wrote:

>  > In terms of meeting the HTML5 performance goals of minimizing
>  > disruption, disruption to the accessibility checking community has to be
>  > included as relevant.  Here, leaving @alt as a required attribute and
>  > @alt="" as the code for "suitable to ignore" has performance benefits in
>  > terms of not disrupting incumbent practice.  But this has to be weighed
>  > against the potential benefits of change, and the steps taken to
>  > mitigate the negative effects of change.

> The problem is that there are _three_ states, not two:

>   1. Image is not important. (alt="")
>   2. Image is important, alternative text is available. (alt="...")
>   3. Image is important, alternative text is not available.

>  Case 3 is the one we are discussing. Cases 1 and 2 are well understood and
>  nobody is suggesting changing them.

Some people are indeed suggesting changing case 1 (e.g.,
alt=_decorative), in part because case 3 often gets treated that way
by default.

An explicit token would allow me to distinguish cases 1 and 3 in my
own writing.  This in turn *should* allow me to recognize when I can
actually believe case 1 on other people's pages.  (On the other hand,
it is also possible that some editors would just change the default
for all images to _decorative, and I would be no better off.)

-jJ
Received on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 21:16:16 GMT

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