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

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 23:36:53 +0200
Message-ID: <4A89CD75.2040408@malform.no>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Maciej Stachowiak On 09-08-17 11.56:

> On Aug 17, 2009, at 2:40 AM, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:
>> On 17/08/2009 10:05, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>>> 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.
>>> If that's so, then wouldn't it be better for authors to use alt=""
>>> instead of role="presentation", so that AT can decide whether it needs
>>> to expose the image anyway?
>> I don't think role="presentation" is appropriate in that case. It's 
>> not a presentational image.
> I don't think alt="" is appropriate either, for the same reason. But you 
> are right that such usage is common nonetheless.

There you have an interesting point. I believe that ARIA permits 
@role="presentation" to be applied to elements with text. (?) And 
@alt represents textual content. Which further supports that @role 
should be viewed as orthogonal to @alt.

>>> In particular, if your example was marked up
>>> like this:
>>> <a href="#"><img src="delete.png" role="presentation"></a>
>>> Then isn't it equally necessary and appropriate for AT to expose that
>>> image?
>> I think it's important that W3C specs do not produce a situation where 
>> "role='presentation'" is likely to be widely misused in that way.
> The specific proposal on the table was as follows:
> - Every time the validator sees alt="" without role="presentation", it 
> should issue a warning advising the author to add role="presentation".
> I believe this would lead to the kind of misuse that you are concerned 
> about. Do you think this kind of warning is a good idea?

No, it is not the best idea, even if might not be bad.  I think, 
as you say that it could cause some misuse and some misjudgment. I 
also fear that authors would feel that such a thing would be 
meaningless. They would tend to think that "but what more does it 
help if I add role='presentation'?"

So therefore, again, what do you think about the proposal that 
validators should consider such instances as "tentatively valid" 
but ask authors to add a @role value and revalidate?
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 17 August 2009 21:37:37 UTC

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