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Re: Null alt tags for decorative images - Technique H67

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2011 22:03:41 +0000
Message-ID: <4EB30FBD.7030502@splintered.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On 03/11/2011 21:56, Userite wrote:
> 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

The logic is flawed, though. You say you don't really trust designers - 
they may have placed a non-decorative image in the page via <img>, but 
set alt="" even though it's not decorative...on the other hand, you'd 
trust the same designers to only use CSS techniques for decorative 
images? Would they not be just as likely to use CSS to place meaningful 
images in the page as well, abusing the technology again?

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]

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Received on Thursday, 3 November 2011 22:04:22 UTC

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