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RE: Another summary of alt="" issues and why the spec says what it says

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 14:19:08 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560804171119v39a7be8bo1ccbc7ebbdf83220@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: david.dailey@sru.edu, "John Foliot" <foliot@wats.ca>, HTML4All <list@html4all.org>, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org, "Al Gilman" <Alfred.S.Gilman@ieee.org>

Ian wrote:

> ... sometimes there simply is
> no alternative text available.
> Examples I can think of that have been
> mentioned so far include:

What these examples do not provide is a rationale for over-riding the
WAI fallback recommendations.

In fact, I think each of these should have a "some information is
better than none" alt, which would be useful.  If validity is the
carrot to make people think about that, fine.  If the programmer or
user gives up and the page is invalid ... well, that should be a rare
care, far rarer than current invalidity.

>  * Images uploaded by a blind user before that
> user has had a chance to ask his friends to
> describe the images to him.

Unlabeled Photo 3, taken on 2008-04-17.

Or have the user supply something like "4th and Vine, last Tuesday,
camera pointed near Cindy's voice."

> * Images in a Web-based tool whose purpose
> it is to get authors to provide replacement text
> for those images.

Provide the context, so that the image can get a contextually
appropriate alt.  Maybe something like:

"Image in anchor to http://www.example.com.  Sentence before link.
[img] Sentence after link."


>  * Images uploaded automatically by a completely
> automated system, e.g. a  Web cam, or Google's
> "street view" images.

"Street view, 4090 Denton St, Oct 6, 4:30 pm"

> * Images uploaded "em masse" where the user
> does not have the resources  to describe each
> one in turn.

"Horton's elephant chow shoot, roll 3, shot 16"

-jJ
Received on Thursday, 17 April 2008 18:19:40 UTC

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