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Re: Empty vs no alt attribute (was Re: Baby Steps or Backwards Steps?)

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 14:38:47 -0500
Message-Id: <B6C268E2-B98E-418E-BFA9-B63A11B824FB@robburns.com>
Cc: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org
To: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie

Hi Josh,

On Aug 18, 2007, at 6:29 AM, Joshue O Connor wrote:

>>> 1)  <img>
>>> 2) <img embedrel='missing'>
>>> the value of embedrel is 'missing'. These all reflect the important
>>> information that the alternate for this content is missing. It
>>> doesn't matter whether an authoring tool couldn't provide the
>>> information (2), or its simply a careless author (1) or not
>>> targeted at all to be accessible (2) in an email application.
> </confusion>
> <glimmer_of_comprehension>
> So I guess this could be a situation where an author of the webpage  
> has
> been given unfamiliar (to them) content by someone to mark up. The
> content is not a domain that the developer is familiar with or  
> qualified
> to comment on, so he/she states. "Here is an image, there is some
> important  information in this image but its missing an alt  
> description
> as whoever wrote this piece  didn't include it and I as a mere web
> developer am not in a position to comment, and as a result you (as a
> user of AT) may not fully understand what is going on here"?
> <hopeful_happy_ending>
> Is this correct?
>> We've discussed a bit further off-list, and he seemed to share the  
>> same
>> goals.
> Cool.

Yes, I think you understood it well (though the suspense was killing  
me). :-)

I'm still getting a better understanding of my proposal as I discuss  
it, but this might help.

The attribute @embedrel either 1) describes the relation of the  
embedded content to the surrounding document or document fragment; OR  
2) tells the user where they can find it. In the case of 'decorative'  
and 'icon', that is the relation (though with 'icon' there can be  
more explanation in the fallback location too). For 'seecontext'  
users should read the surrounding context to understand everything  
they need to know about the embedded content. For 'seefallback' users  
should read the fallback. Finally, (and perhaps it is a better  
exposition to end with this  one) 'missing' means the explanation of  
the relation between the embedded content and the surrounding  
document is missing. It has not been provided.

IS this a document conformance error? I think leaving off @embedrel  
completely with no value should definitely be a document error.  
Adding it with the value missing is not ideal either, but at least it  
lets authors know that there is something missing from their  
document: perhaps something that can be made complete later. Every  
time the author edits the document, they may see these 'missing'  

Take care,
Received on Saturday, 18 August 2007 19:39:19 UTC

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