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Re: Fwd: Flickr and alt

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 20:02:52 +0200
Message-ID: <48AB0ACC.3050900@malform.no>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
CC: Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>

Patrick H. Lauke 2008-08-19 00.52:

> Sam Kuper wrote:


> CMSs and authoring tools, in view, are a completely separate beast. In 
> my last email I noted how many users (myself included) don't user Flickr 
> so much as a publishing platform, but as an online extension of their 
> private photo collection, with the ability to share with known 
> individuals, friends, family. The use context is different. In the case 
> of CMSs used for publication to the wide web, I agree - and many more 
> sophisticated systems already do warn about empty alts - but users 
> should still be able to consciously leave alt empty, as otherwise 
> they'll simply enter some generic text ("photo", "image", "abc", "blah", 
> ...) if they're forced to enter metadata/alternatives.

I like these viewpoints, and the example in another letter about 
whether a table without header cells etc should validate at all, 
was well taken.

But how can we differentiate between public and private?

My thought is that the role="" attribute could play a -eh-  role 
here. One could have special requirements for the @alt, depending 
on its role="", basically.

If e.g. role="an-private-album-photo" had more relaxed rules, for 
instance that it said that the @alt /could/ be emtpy then, then it 
would be possible to fake validity by using that @role value e.g. 
in a government web site. (And the same would be possible by 
always using role="decorative".) However, it would then be simple 
to spot the fakery. And also, one would have better chances at 
developing a sound understanding of what "validity" means.

If we are to leave the whole issue of the @alt requirements to the 
WCAG specification(s), then all we need to do is to take the @role 
into HTML 5, and ask that authors use the @alt according to the 
requirements which the WCAG set forth for each role. Even defining 
the values of the @role attribute, could then be "outsourced". 
(Allthough I think that something should be said about how User 
Agents should handle e.g. <img alt="spacerimage" role="decorative" 
src="src" >.)

Btw, note that the current values of the @role attribute appear to 
be quite "dry". It seems to me that they are very "public", with 
very very little focus on e.g. the Flickr use case.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 18:03:43 GMT

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