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Re: feedback requested on WAI CG Consensus Resolutions on Text alternatives in HTML 5 document

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 10:00:09 +0100
Message-ID: <4A891C19.30401@googlemail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
On 17/08/2009 09:42, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> Would it be appropriate, in light of this, to add a user agent
> requirement that an img with empty alt should not be mapped to
> accessibility APIs at all?

Given the variety of authoring practice around "alt", I don't think that 
would be safe.

In situations like:

<a href="#"><img src="delete.png" alt=""></a>

It's useful to AT for the "img" to be exposed and to be able to access 
"src" attributes for the purpose of providing a substitute for proper 
alternative text.


More tendentiously, perhaps, in situations like:

<p>As you can see from the chart below, sales increased in 2008:</p>
<img alt="" src="chart.png">

Even if users can't consume the chart themselves, it's useful to users 
to be able to download or hotlink that referenced chart in a 
collaborative environment (e.g. a corporate wiki).

By contrast:

<img alt="" src="bullet.png">

really is purely decorative; in a collaborative environment that seems 
likely to be generated by authoring software.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Monday, 17 August 2009 09:00:57 UTC

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