# Re: Images and alternative text

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2008 03:25:53 +0200
Message-ID: <489BA0A1.6070406@malform.no>
To: "Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Philip Taylor <pjt47@cam.ac.uk>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) 2008-08-07 22.04:

> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008, Philip Taylor wrote:
>>>   <img src="..." alt="{x \over y} = {1 \over {y \over x}}">
>>
>> ...would be a horrific alternative text to give a screen reader.
>>
>> I don't think it's equivalent to the image at all. It's the source of
>> a program that was used to generate the image, but that's not the same
>> thing.
>
> It /may/ be the source of a program, but far more
> importantly it is an internationally recognised way
> of conveying the meaning of the image in a linearised
> fashion.

The need to fill @alt with source code – while at the same time
having the image itself display the rendering of that source code,
should not be an argument against alt="{photo}".

Code should be marked up as code. And you have at least 3 options:

<img longdesc="#equation" ...> could point to a place were the
LaTeX source code was properly marked up with the <code> element.

<img lang="zxx" ... >  would tell that the element represents no
linguistic content. Supposedly that would work, as neither the
equation nor the source code represent linguistic content.

<object ...> would be hold both and IMG, the CODE element and even
MathML. As quite often, the bottleneck is Internet Explorer. But
at least IE8 promises to allow us to use OBJECT for images.

Of course, this problem - how to syntactically discern
alt="{photo}" from alt="{\latex}" when coding, should be dealth
with in the spec.
--
leif halvard silli

Received on Friday, 8 August 2008 01:26:44 UTC

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