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Re: alt and authoring practices

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 23:20:58 +0100
Message-ID: <48067BCA.2080009@cam.ac.uk>
To: "Bonner, Matt (IPG)" <matt.bonner@hp.com>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "wai-xtech@w3.org" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, "wai-liaison@w3.org" <wai-liaison@w3.org>

Bonner, Matt (IPG) wrote:
> MB> It seems like gathering data from various sources would advance this
> MB> debate more usefully than any amount of speculation on what might be.
> 
> IH> What data would you like me to collect?
> 
> Well, the data from a web crawl that seem germane would be
> along the lines of percentages of images for the oft-mentioned
> three cases:
> 
> . have no alt attribute
> . have an alt=""
> . have an alt="(a descriptive string)"

This type of study is not novel - for example someone on the 
Microformats list has done a similar study [1] (having Google-sized 
samples isn't really necessary). The real problem is that without 
analyzing the images in context to know if the alt text is sensible or 
not, the data isn't very useful (e.g. [2]).

I've outlined an approach that I believe would produce some meaningful 
data [3], although it is obviously much more effort.

[1] 
http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-new/2007-July/000629.html
[2] 
http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-new/2007-July/000635.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Apr/0404.html

-- 
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Bullet train
People snuffed out in the brutal rain"
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Received on Wednesday, 16 April 2008 22:22:33 GMT

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