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On HTML WG process - was [Re: Request for review of alt and alt value for authoring or publishing tools]

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 09:33:17 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80804160133x4e22d7edscb6b6258807392e@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org
Cc: "public html for all" <list@html4all.org>

As an individual:
I am not convinced of the merit of a reserved value for the alt
attribute, nor am I convinced of the desirability of having alt
required. Neither am I convinced of the worthlessness of these
proposals.
I am convinced that the spec needs to use a working definition of
"text alternative" or "alternative text" that is in agreement with the
WCAG guidelines and that the normative and informative statements
provided in the spec must embody that agreement.

I am not convinced that the decision about these issues should
effectively be up to one person in the HTML WG, namely the editor.

Therefore, if after all input from members of the HTML WG and relevant
WAI working groups is considered, a consensus cannot be reached, then
the legitmate and logical next step is for the issues to be brought to
a vote.

I don't think we are at that stage yet on these issues, and think that
a better outcome would be that we can work as a group to acheive
consensus.

regards
Stevef

On 16/04/2008, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> hi graham,
> > Can you give an example of the differences in behavior you would expect?
>
>
> If a screen reader encounters an <img alt="" noalt>
> instead of ignoring the image if it is <img> or <img alt=""> as it
> does now (in most circumstances) it could simply announce the presence
> of the graphic as it does now:
> <img alt="useful text"> announces "graphic useful text"
>
>  <img alt=""> or <img> announces nothing
>
> future:
> <img alt="useful text"> announces "graphic useful text"
>
> <img alt="" noalt> announces "graphic"
>
> <img> announces nothing
>
> <img alt=""> announces nothing
>
>
> By announcing the presence of the graphic (a cue), the user is alerted
> that the image may contain important information, this could result in
> the user paying closer attention to to graphic, for example,
> increasing magnification if they are using a magnifier, to see if they
> can discern anything from the pixels
> or asking somebody to explain to them what the image is.
>
> Screen magnifiers could add a border around the image to indicate that
> it may be of interest. thus providing a visual cue for the user.
>
>
>
> regards
> stevef
>
>
> On 15/04/2008, James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> > Steven Faulkner wrote:
> > >
> > > > There is *absolutely no practical difference* to the UA between omitting
> > > > the alt="" attribute altogether, and having the alt="" attribute set to
> > > > some magical reserved value. They are functionally identical, and user
> > > > agents can get as much information from either.
> > > >
> > >
> > > No. you are wrong.
> > >
> > > if <img alt=""> signals to an AT that an image can be safely ignored
> > > (which is current usage).
> > > then <img noalt> could signal that image should not be ignored by AT
> > > <img> signals that neither can the image safely be ignored or that it
> > > should not be ignored as it may contain something important.
> > >
> >
> > I think this makes the incorrect assumption that a UA will be able to make a
> > useful distinction between the @noalt case and the missing alt attribute
> > case. In practice @noalt will end up on images that should have alt=""
> > (because e.g. of developers misunderstanding the spec) and images that
> > should not be ignored will have neither @alt nor @noalt. Therefore in the
> > absence of an alt attribute or in the presence of a noalt attribute, the UA
> > should do its level best to supply some useful information about the image,
> > hopefully using something better than the crummy "read the filename"
> > algorithm that AT vendors have employed to date.
> >
> > Can you give an example of the differences in behavior you would expect?
> >
> > --
> > "Mixed up signals
> > Bullet train
> > People snuffed out in the brutal rain"
> > --Conner Oberst
> >
>
>
> --
> 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
>


-- 
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, 16 April 2008 08:33:58 GMT

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