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Re: conformance levels [was: Re: alt crazyness ...]

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 09:09:27 +0100
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20080505080927.GL11992@stripey.com>

Ben Boyle writes:

> Has anyone asked ... if I use <figure> and <legend> with an <img>, do
> I need to use @alt as well?

Yes.  Well, at least, the current spec wording considers it.  That a
<legend> is being used isn't the salient point; what matters is whether
any visible text on the page (whether in a <legend>, a <p>, or whatever)
is already a textual alternative of the image.  In that case alt="" is
mandated, to clearly indicate that no information is missing.

However if the legend doesn't replicate the image's content (for
example, because it's just a title) then clearly 'proper' alt text is
required.

> In the short term, I'd consider it essential for accessibility.

(I'm presuming by 'it' you mean providing full alt text, not just
alt="".)  If the <legend> already fully covers an image's content, how
does duplicating that in the alt text help accessibility?

> But longterm, when assistive technology catches up and penetrates the
> customer base (yes I know this takes ages), I'm fully confident figure
> + legend could be enough in many situations and @alt should be
> optional

What would this future technology need do such that you think it'd be OK
not to provide alt text for images with legends?

> (and I could use alt="" I know, but I'd be happy to leave it out. Less
> typing.)

But harder to distinguish as definitively not needing an alternative
from other cases where no alt text is provided.

Smylers
Received on Monday, 5 May 2008 08:10:01 UTC

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