W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > April 2008

Re: Request for review of alt and alt value for authoring or publishing tools

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 14:27:07 +0300
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-Id: <86490B03-1CC6-4461-AAAC-5233F217B5C6@iki.fi>
To: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>

On Apr 16, 2008, at 11:01, Steven Faulkner wrote:
> If a screen reader encounters an <img alt="" noalt>
> instead of ignoring the image if it is <img> or <img alt=""> as it
> does now (in most circumstances) it could simply announce the presence
> of the graphic as it does now:
> <img alt="useful text"> announces "graphic useful text"
> <img alt=""> or <img> announces nothing

This is not true for VoiceOver with Safari.

<img alt=""> announces nothing and makes the image not focusable with  
VO unless linked in which case it is focusable and read as "Link".

<img> announces "Image" unless linked in which case the filename after  
the last slash in URI is read and "Image" is *not* announced. (Thus  
VoiceOver shares JAWS' design flaw that it doesn't check if the file  
name looks like a readable English word.)

It appears that VoiceOver's behavior fits the current spec draft fine  
except for the case that the image is linked and has no alt.

Testing on Mac OS X 10.5.2 with Safari 3.1. Demo document:

P.S. <img alt="_decorative"> and <img alt="_notsupplied"> would both  
have bad backwards-compatibility characteristics as far as VoiceOver  

Henri Sivonen
Received on Wednesday, 16 April 2008 11:27:49 UTC

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