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

Re: alt attribute - a very simple proposal

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 21:24:59 +0900
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <099999D4-3B91-4DF9-AD95-D7CB180F8BE2@w3.org>
To: "Laura Carlson" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>

Hi Laura,

(Trimming the names in the reply. Note I have specifically avoided the  
cross-posting to avoid the meta-discussions in my previous message.  
Please do respect it.)
Reference to my initial message

Le 19 août 2008 à 20:56, Laura Carlson a écrit :
>> 1. I would just keep alt attribute requirements to the functional
>> requirements, such as if images are not loaded the content of the alt
>> attribute must be displayed.
>> 2. The specific requirements on accessibility such as  the content  
>> of the
>> alt attribute depending on the use cases should be entirely left to  
>> WCAG.
> Do you mean something like in the second draft of the image section  
> rewrite?
> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/Action54AltAttributeSecondDraft#head-f2fc9a989269cce19dd470126eb7df7c46667099

I have been clear and precise in my initial message *entirely left to  
WCAG*. The second draft proposal is doing the same mistake than the  
current text. I said it here:

>> The specification would then be lighter, could have a pointer  
>> saying all the
>> requirements for accessibility are defined in wcag 2.0.

If you bear with me, there are other very similar cases in HTML.  

* style attribute syntax: The conformance of what is a correct way of  
writing a style is left to CSS 2.1. It refers to the specifications.
* Still style attribute on color choices: WCAG 2.0 explains what is an  
acceptable contrast for users between a background and a foreground.  
We don't say anything about it in HTML 5 specification and that's good!

There are plenty of examples like this along the specification.

My proposal is something along:

	All img elements must have the alt content attribute set.
	The accessibility requirements on the possible values of
	the alt attributes are defined by WCAG 2.0 and not HTML 5.

>> For the class of products of
>>  * search engines, functional requirement: indexing the text content.
>>  * conformance checker: it is highly encouraged that conformance  
>> checker
>> developers implement the  WCAG requirements on alt attribute.
>>  * authoring tools, functional requirement: provide a way to edit  
>> the alt
>> attribute.

The only functional requirements which is not about accessibility for  
authoring tool is "Can I edit the alt attribute?".
   * For a desktop application which would show the wysiwyg of the  
page, it means, giving the possibility for the user at its will to  
edit the alt attribute. What is the content, or the accessibility  
mechanisms used to edit this value are left to WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0
   * For a Web service such as Flickr, it would just give the  
possibility to user (if they wish) to edit the value of alt.

That's all. It is only a functional requirement. It makes things a lot  
simpler for everyone.

Karl Dubost - W3C
Be Strict To Be Cool
Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 12:25:35 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 29 October 2015 10:15:37 UTC