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Re: Alt Use Cases ACTION 54 (was Re: Mandatory and Important)

From: William Loughborough <wloughborough@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 17:51:42 -0700
Message-ID: <1e3451610808211751g118487fi712999bc5ed05810@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Laura Carlson" <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, "Matt Morgan-May" <mattmay@adobe.com>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
The next "purely decorative" image will actually be the first one ever!

The very fact that someone picked and inserted it makes it have meaning.
"Oh, that's just decoration" someone says about an element that sighted
people use as a skimming landmark but that people without eyes actually

Spacers provide information. Everything is connected and even if the only
harm is to pretend that they have no function, e.g., the ability of a blind
designer to learn, then that's enough "excuse" for explaining their very
presence, which is NEVER "purely" decorative. It was the designer's choice
and as such carried information.

We must quit looking for ways to protect blind people from knowing what's
there. They don't ALL want to know, but why not do it for Gregory and Jerry?
To pretend that the mandating of @alt for <img> didn't make the Web more
friendly/usable/accessible makes no sense. It definitely did and I don't
need to make any survey other than my own in that regard.

The Web is better because of that one mandate and the notion of removing it
for some really abstruse philosophical reason is unreasonable.

Also if HTML 5 slays this particularly sacred bovine, they will find their
path to recommendation status rocky indeed. And that's as much promise as


On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 4:53 PM, Laura Carlson

> Art can convey a significant amount of information visually or provide
> a specific sensory experience to a sighted person. But yes, purely
> decorative images are visual enhancements, decorations or
> embellishments that provide no function or information beyond
> aesthetics to users who can view the images. They have no meaning in
> themselves and do not provide page content.
Received on Friday, 22 August 2008 00:52:17 UTC

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