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Re: HTML Action Item 54 - ...draft text for HTML 5 spec to require producers/authors to include @alt on img elements.

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 12:44:42 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80805210444q1667c70cje5ade86af0600e0c@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org

Hi Ian, thanks for your illuminating response,
it appears that, the "requirement" in the spec for a text alternative
is not actually a "requirement" at all, since
"It is mostly up to the author to determine when the case goes from
one to the other"
and if the author decides that providing a text alternative for any
image(s) is impractical, then the document is conforming.

>That's just the way things are; making
> alternative text required without addressing this fundamental problem is
> an ostrich approach to solving accessibility.

If it were the only approach it may well be as you describe, but the
approach has many prongs, including WCAG, ATAG, UAAG all of which
provide a co-ordinated approach to different aspects of accessibility
issues. Making the provision of a text alternative, be it via the alt
attribute or some other mechanism, such as the legend element or
aria-describedby or aria-labelledby or another mechanism [1] & [2],
would both provide HTML5 with a method to prescibe conformance in line
with other W3C specifications and provide an answer to those use cases
 that are seen as problematic.


[1]http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Feb/0006.html
[2]http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2008Feb/0008.html

stevef

2008/5/21 Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>:
> On Wed, 21 May 2008, Steven Faulkner wrote:
>> >
>> > Note that the HTML5 spec as written today _does_ require the alt=""
>> > attribute when it is at all possible to include it.
>>
>> So does Anne's seminal HTML5 example of not including a text alternative
>> using the alt attribute [1], and reasoning [2] for not providing text
>> alternatives, result in conformant HTML5 or not?
>>
>> [1] http://anne.is.weggeweest.nl/image-viewer#2006,boston,9
>> [2] http://annevankesteren.nl/2007/09/alt
>
> If it was possible for Anne to include alternative text, then it should be
> included. I can't tell whether this is a case of that or not because the
> image viewer in question doesn't work on the browser I tested it with (so
> there are much, much bigger accessibility problems for me on that site
> than whether the image has alt text or not).
>
> If an author doesn't provide alternative text because he doesn't care to,
> then the document isn't conforming. If an author doesn't provide
> alternative text because doing so wouldn't be practical, then the document
> is conforming, but violates a "should", and conformance checkers should
> probably give warnings to that effect. It is mostly up to the author to
> determine when the case goes from one to the other. In practice, providing
> useful alternative text for photographs is non-trivial and so such effort
> can quickly become impratical. That's just the way things are; making
> alternative text required without addressing this fundamental problem is
> an ostrich approach to solving accessibility.
>
> --
> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
>



-- 
with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium

www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Web Accessibility Toolbar -
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Received on Wednesday, 21 May 2008 11:45:29 UTC

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