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Re: alt text on Validator.nu image report

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 10:26:10 +0000 (UTC)
To: Philip Taylor <pjt47@cam.ac.uk>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0805051019510.15395@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Mon, 5 May 2008, Philip Taylor wrote:
> 
> Then the importantimage attribute has no remaining effect, so it can be 
> dropped. That just leaves the spec requiring alt to be a textual 
> equivalent of the image in the cases where that's possible, and a short 
> informative label where that is not possible.

I don't like the idea of there being no way to distinguish an image 
consisting of just the text "Photo", or an icon of a photo, or some other 
command intended to indicate the functionality or label "Photo", and an 
image that actually _is_ a photo.

That is, the following two cases:

   <a href="monterey.html">Monterey</a> <span>Photo</span> 
   <span>Comments</span> <span>Review</span>

   <a href="monterey.html">Monterey</a> <img src=photo.icon alt=Photo> 
   <img src=comments.icon alt=Comments> <img src=review.icon alt=Review>

...need to be expressible in a way that results in equivalent behaviour, 
and in a way that is clearly distinguishable from this case:

   <a href="monterey.html">Monterey</a> <img src=monterey.jpeg ...>

...even when the "Comments" and "Review" icons are removed from the first 
two cases. If we give the third example alt="Photo", then there is no way 
to distinguish them, and I think that's a serious accessibility problem.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 5 May 2008 10:26:44 UTC

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