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Re: One more thought about requiring the alt to add to the pile

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 07:27:24 -0400
Message-ID: <004201c8a147$2de98dd0$0901a8c0@HANDS>
To: "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: <public-html@w3.org>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>

is this vo or a behaviour of webkit?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
To: "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: <public-html@w3.org>; "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>; 
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 3:46 AM
Subject: Re: One more thought about requiring the alt to add to the pile

On Apr 18, 2008, at 08:38, Steven Faulkner wrote:

>  The spec[1] currently states:
> "In some cases, the image is a critical part of the content. .... In
> a rare subset of these cases, there might be no alternative text
> available. "
> Given that it is only in  very rare cases (a "rare subset" of "some
> cases") where it is considered legitimate in the spec to leave out
> the alt attribute.
> And these "rare subset" of cases are a clearly defined class of site
> "a photo upload site".  Would it not be better to require/encourage
> the relatively small number of AT vendors to provide a feature that
> exposes images with alt="" (in case the photo site CMS has been
> designed ot add alt="" automatically), that a user can enable when
> he/she visits these sites?.

No. Now you are being so dogmatic about the alt attribute being there
that you are willing to suggest modal UI to work around it. That's bad.

That you find a need for a mode demonstrates that there really is
information loss when markup generators put alt='' on images whose
presence should not be concealed.

VoiceOver deals with this reasonably when the author doesn't abuse the
empty string alt. Of course, VoiceOver fails to inform the user when
the author has used the empty string alt to remove the image from the
non-visual presentation altogether. The whole point of not making the
presence of alt a *syntactic* requirement is to avoid inducing such
abuse that makes the page less understandable than in the case where
VO announces the presence of the image even though it says nothing
about its content.

Henri Sivonen
Received on Friday, 18 April 2008 11:28:07 UTC

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