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Re: some reflections on @alt usage (and summary of research so far)

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 12:33:39 +0200
Message-ID: <48AFE783.6070201@gmx.de>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, public-html@w3.org, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>

Ian Hickson wrote:
> ...
> Speaking with my Google hat on for just this paragraph, I can assure you 
> that with Picasa Web Albums, if we offered our users the opportunity to 
> specify alternative text, most wouldn't use it, if we required them to 

Probably. But some would.

> provide it, most would provide bogus text, and if we forced them to 

Yes.

> provide useful alternative text, they would all find one of our 
> competitors' sites and give up on Picasa altogether. (Google hat off.)

Yes.

So that sounds like a reason not to require it, but not like a reason 
not to enable it.

> In practice, photo sharing sites will never have alternative text 
> available for the vast majorty of their images. Pretending otherwise is 
> neither realistic nor productive.

Yes.

> ...

For the record, I still strongly believe that document validity is the 
wrong approach to get more useful alt texts. Whenever I've seen fields 
being mandatory, but hard to fill, I've seen bogus contents appear.

One example we just discussed is the HTTP Content-Type header -- people 
believed it is mandatory so filled it with broken defaults, and we're 
still suffering from that.

BR, Julian
Received on Saturday, 23 August 2008 10:34:31 UTC

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