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Re: alt text on Validator.nu image report

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 02:02:10 +0200
Message-ID: <4828DA82.7040109@lachy.id.au>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Ian Hickson wrote:
> It may be possible that the existing large amount of bogus missing-alt 
> content makes the user agent processing I'm advocating here impractical.
> 
> An alternative would be to require alt="" to be specified on these images 
> (e.g. with your suggestion "External Image", or "Photo", or whatever -- a 
> caption, in this case, not an alternative) and then add a new attribute 
> which means "This image is intended to be used as an image and cannot be 
> considered equivalent to any text":
> 
>    <figure>
>     <img src="1100670787_6a7c664aef.jpg" alt="Photo"
>          importantimage="importantimage"/>
>     <legend>Bubbles traveled everywhere with us.</legend>
>    </figure>

My problem with this proposal is that with an attribute named something 
like importantimage, it seems likely that authors would use it on any 
significant image whether or not it had good alt text available.

I could accept it if it were instead defined to mean that the image is 
considered important content, regardless of whether there is good alt 
text available.  The spec could require that if there is no good alt 
text available, then at least a short, descriptive label, such as 
alt="Photo", alt="Satellite Image", etc. should be included instead. 
Although, I still don't particularly like the attribute's name.  It 
might be better if it were just called important="".

-- 
Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
http://lachy.id.au/
http://www.opera.com/
Received on Tuesday, 13 May 2008 00:02:50 UTC

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