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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: Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 15:56:36 -0700
To: Andrew Sidwell <w3c@andrewsidwell.co.uk>, John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
CC: <public-html@w3.org>, "'W3C WAI-XTECH'" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>, "'HTML4All'" <list@html4all.org>
Message-ID: <C45C99B4.8702%mattmay@adobe.com>

On 5/22/08 10:33 AM, "Andrew Sidwell" <w3c@andrewsidwell.co.uk> wrote:
>> Well then, making @alt optional in the edge case of Flickr or an inkblot
>> test is then moot.  Those edge cases will remain non-conformant, and @alt as
>> a mandatory requirement is a sealed deal, as optimising for edge cases is
>> not a reasonable thing to do.
> 
> Flickr is hardly an edge case.

On the contrary: Flickr is the _ultimate_ edge case.

I'll be the first to admit that there is a ceiling to what value Flickr can
provide to non-sighted users (though the addition of video, and the audio
that accompanies it, does alter the landscape). But even though user-sourced
material can't be expected for all uploaded images, @alt can be provided for
each of the 60-70 other images in that same document, even if in many cases
it should be @alt="".

If even the poster child for optional @alt can apply meaningful alt text to
98%+ of the images it serves, then I fail to see how that's reason enough to
make @alt optional for the rest of the web. Less than 2% of the image
content on the most popular photo site on the web being inexpressible? I
call that an edge. (Besides, the issue isn't even that it couldn't be
expressed, it's that it's understood that alt text won't be created, and
Flickr doesn't store or retrieve it anyway.)

-
m
Received on Friday, 23 May 2008 23:06:43 UTC

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