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Re: Mandatory and Important

From: Dave Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 15:37:53 +0200
Message-Id: <p06240824c4d47168310b@[]>
To: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

At 14:15  +0300 22/08/08, Robert J Burns wrote:
>Hi Dave,
>On Aug 22, 2008, at 2:05 PM, Dave Singer wrote:
>>>Hi Dave,
>>>I think it is not a difficult issue. HTML5 can simply say:
>>>* the IMG element MUST include an alt attribute
>>>* authors MUST include suitable alt text for each image embedded 
>>>with the IMG element
>>>* authors SHOULD follow WCAG guidelines in composing suitable alt text
>>>* authoring tools SHOULD follow ATAG in assisting authors 
>>>providing suitable alt text and MAY automatically generate default 
>>>alt text in cases where it is possible (e.g., the replacement of 
>>>an image of richly styled text by plain text)
>>>* authoring tools MUST NOT add any text that is a placeholder for 
>>>alt text (e.g., "this is an image")
>>>I don't see the problem then. We have provided suitable guidance 
>>>to authoring tools and authors.
>>As provided, the guidance is fine.  But thisdoesn't seem to address 
>>the question that was central to starting the debate:  what to do 
>>when alt text is not available at the time of HTML generation?  My 
>>perception is that quite a few people believe or hope that this 
>>situation doesn't arise, but it does, and it's currently 
>>'polluting' the web;  your second bullet is not always achievable. 
>>I'm unclear as to what you believe should happen in this case;  I 
>>assume you're as unhappy as I am with alt="", missing alt, or 
>>alt="useless filler text".
>I really don't see that as a central question for this WG (other 
>than how it is addressed it what I just wrote). From what I just 
>wrote the answer is, If the suitable alt text is unavailable the 
>authoring tool should make sure the alt attribute is alt=''. 
>Similarly, the authoring tool (in the case of Flickr) might add 
>role='photo'. The dilemma is solved (at least as far as we HTML5 
>spec writers are concerned).

But now we're back where we started.  We want UAs to be able to 
interpret alt="" as meaning images that are decorative etc., not 
needing AT.  This is conflating cases, again.

>Incidentally, I meant to reply to continue the discussion on list, 
>so I hope I'm not out of line adding the WG  back to the to header.

No probs.
David Singer
Received on Friday, 22 August 2008 13:39:45 UTC

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