W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2008

Re: Use-case for where alt text would be truly unavailable

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 09:06:46 +0200
Message-ID: <4806F706.1050000@malform.no>
To: "Dr. Olaf Hoffmann" <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Dr. Olaf Hoffmann 08-04-16 11.59:     
> But if we compare it with the situation with more advanced elements with
> fallback content like object, there is not even the possibility to skip 
> something like the alt attribute. [...]
> Therefore the complete discussion to remove the requirement for
> the alt attribute of this bad designed old img element sounds a little
> bit strange, 

You make a good point.

> because a similar behaviour for elements with a more
> advanced design like object, audio, video, canvas is not even 
> possible - there is only the choice between empty and not empty.
> And if it is empty, this is a clear message to the user about the
> importance of the referenced document.

Except that only OBJECT is designed to have fallback content.

I think that even OBJECT could have benefitted from a short ALT 
attribute, to let users know what it is, before deciding to jump into 
the pool. (To the same  extent as IMG, that is.)

It seems as if IMG is considered as part of the regular text flow, while 
those other media container elements are not. Perhaps the thinking also 
is that flat images are easy to incorporate into flat text ... Replace 
image of cat with word cat - and that is that. And perhaps it is also 
the case that we are used to images from paper media, and know how to 
swap text and image there ...

It should useful to compare OBJECT and IMG. What if all IMG-s was 
OBJECT-s? How would the web feel like for AT users? There would 
certainly be less ALT-texts ...
leif halvard silli
Received on Thursday, 17 April 2008 07:07:22 UTC

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