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

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 07:42:49 -0400
Message-ID: <008d01c8a149$555cd190$0901a8c0@HANDS>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: <public-html@w3.org>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>

I think we need to have html5 state markup requirements and let the other 
spec and guideline tasks handle the rest?  Omitting alt in any case would be 
a step backward unless you have something that is stronger that could take 
its place and work more efficiently.  I don't like alt, I prefer equivalent.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
To: "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: <public-html@w3.org>; "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>; 
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 1:50 AM
Subject: Re: One more thought about requiring the alt to add to the pile

On Fri, 18 Apr 2008, 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?.

It's more than just photo upload sites. For example, the street view
feature in Google Maps, or, as previously mentioned, Rorschach tests.

Also, there are plenty of decorative images on these sites that need to
have alt="" and that aren't critical images.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 18 April 2008 11:43:36 UTC

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