W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2005

Proposal for alt text

From: Johannes Koch <koch@w3development.de>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 16:22:25 +0200
Message-ID: <4305EB21.3000205@w3development.de>
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Hi group,

after reading the discussion about alt text, that may or may not be 
empty, I sent the following to Chris, who suggested to send it to the list.

So what do you think about the following proposal?

1. If an img/applet/object element is part of the content of an a 
element (or button element), the link text (or button text) must mention 
the link destination (the button's function). This is just the same for 
links (or buttons) without images/applets/object. If the link text (or 
button text) is clear without alternative text for the 
image/applet/object, the image's/applet's alt attribute (the object's 
text alternative) may be empty. Otherwise the image's/applet's alt 
attribute value (the object's text alternative) should add to the link 
text (or button text) to make it clear.

E.g. my mail client has a button for sending mail with an icon and 
additional button text "Send". In this case an empty text alternative 
would be OK. If there was no additional text, the alt text would have to 
be "Send mail" or something like this.


2. If an img/applet/object element is not part of the content of an a 
element (or button element), but there is text in the document 
describing the image's/applet's/object's purpose, an empty alt attribute 
(object's text alternative) would be OK. Otherwise there would be 
redundancy.

E.g. this would be stupid:
   <img src="..." alt="Pope Benedict blessing hundreds of thousands of
     young people in Cologne." ...><br>
   Pope Benedict blessing hundreds of thousands of young people in
   Cologne.

<addition by="Chris Ridpath">
   Yes, make the alt text empty because the descriptive text is so close
   to the image. I've modified your example a bit to move the image
   description a little further away. In this case I think the image
   requires alt text.

   <img src="..." alt="Pope Benedict blessing hundreds of thousands of
   young people in Cologne." ...><br>
   When we were in Germany this year we saw many wonderful sights and
   indulged in the fine food and drink. One of the things we saw was Pope
   Benedict blessing hundreds of thousands of young people in Cologne.
</addition>

3. If an img/applet/object element is not part of the content of an a 
element (or button element) and there is no text showing the 
image's/applet's/object's purpose, the value of the alt attribute 
(object's text alternative) must contain the image's/applet's/object's 
purpose.


4. An image input (input[@type='image']) needs a text alternative (alt 
attribute) describing the buttons function.


5. A client-side image map region (area element) needs a text 
alternative (alt attribute) describing the destination of the link.


(object's text alternative is text content or nested img's alt attribute)

-- 
Johannes Koch
In te domine speravi; non confundar in aeternum.
                             (Te Deum, 4th cent.)
Received on Friday, 19 August 2005 14:22:40 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:47:39 GMT