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Re: [html4all] Request for review of alt and alt value for authoring or publishing tools

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 02:07:52 +0200
Message-ID: <48054358.10208@malform.no>
To: HTML4All <list@html4all.org>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, "'Tomas Caspers'" <tomas@tomascaspers.de>, wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Anne van Kesteren 08-04-16 00.21:     
> On Tue, 15 Apr 2008 23:56:36 +0200, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
> > I don't understand. Why can't whatever behaviour will happen for
> > alt="magic vlaue" also happen when the alt="" attribute isn't present? 
>   

> I think the "opposing viewpoint" is more about today's behavior and  
> content than how we can have it in the future. The assumptions seem to be  
> that:
>
>   * If the alt attribute is specified it is likely to be correct.
>   

And if it is correct that it is likely to be "correct", then we should 
have an @ALT for VIDEO as well, as I guess will be the same need for 
alt="labels" there?

>   * If the alt attribute is omitted the more typical case is that the image  
> does not convey information.
>   

While the other opposition claims that omitted alt means that it was 
about content images for which there were no time/urge/method/etc to add 
alternative text?

I think there is a consesus that there is a need to define what should 
happen when the web application expect the user/author to submit alt 
text, but this does not happen.

The first thing is that the web application should actually start to 
expect this. If it doesn't tell the user that it expects such input, and 
give opportunity to insert it it, then little shall happen. The spec 
does not say that such CMS tools must tell that it expect such text. (I 
would expect it to help users to mass-insert useful, short, thematic texts.)

The next thing is that there must be defined what shall happen when the 
user still, after the web software _gently_ has offered the user to do 
add it, still fails to submit such texts. Then there must be a back-up 
solution. **Perhaps** this is what we are discussing now.

I don't feel that the spec as it stands is "proactive". "When alt text 
is unavailable" is not very clear speak. It is clear that many of us in 
the HTML4all flock do not think that not having a backup plan for how to 
deal with lack of user submitted alt text is equal to "no alt text 
available".

Perhaps what Ian wants to say is that the CMS should never generate alt 
texts on its own? And never close an alt with alt="" on its own? But 
even the we might not agree. I think it is good if such images are 
enumerated. Ian does not. And it sounds to me as if Joshue are more 
positive about alt="" than many of us who are not accessibility 
professionals.

> Joshue also made the point that AT software skips <img src=...> today  
> where they would not skip <img alt=...> today.
>
>
> I think your assumption is that whether the alt attribute is specified or  
> not does not affect the likelyhood of it being correct.

"Correct alt" does not sound good in mine ears.  But it should not be 
misleading.

>  (As in, <img  
> src=... alt=""> for an image that needs alternate text and <img src=...>  
> for an image that doesn't are about as likely to occur.)
>
>   

It was not clear to me what you meant by referring to what Joshue said etc.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 16 April 2008 00:08:41 UTC

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