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Re: Null alt tags for decorative images - Technique H67

From: Userite <richard@userite.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2011 21:56:32 -0000
Message-ID: <C1F958E4277A4A2E919D46BB6B42D0A8@DaddyPC>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Thank you all for your very informative comments. 

Yes I am lucky that my client is fairly well “clued up” and knows that an alternative text attribute is required for informative images. 

My specific problem with this client is deciding when an image is informative and when it is purely decorative. As mentioned by Patrick – some images set the ‘tone’ etc. and therefore they have an impact upon the context of the content. We are now getting into the realm of subjective decision making. I guess there can be no definitive answer. This is part of my reason for regretting the inclusion of H67. If H67 did not exist the designer would have to make a deliberate decision that an image was decorative and go to the trouble of popping it into CSS. This would make him think about his decision.

My other, and perhaps more practical, reason for disliking H67 is that it allows decorative images to be imported by HTML. When I travel I often use expensive and slow connections so I turn off images to save time and cost. In this situation I know that html loaded images are there, and if there is a text alternative I know what the image is for. However if there is no alternative text I do not know if the designer has just forgotten to include the alternative or the image is purely decorative. This is frustrating. Unless, of course the preceding text said something like “here is a picture of Uncle Fred in his Christmas pullover”. But that is a different matter.

If all web-designers worked on the principal that they should separate style from content by putting ALL styles and decorations in CSS then there would be no ambiguity and we could get rid of H67 and create a faster, more user-friendly web

Received on Thursday, 3 November 2011 21:57:08 UTC

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