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Re: [html4all] some reflections on @alt usage

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 07:00:58 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0804280500k2876966bw39caaab70e320de1@mail.gmail.com>
To: "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML4All <list@html4all.org>

Gez Lemon wrote:
>  Just to add to my position on using aria-describedby and
>  aria-labelledby in response to Al's original message. I think
>  aria-describedby could be considered an appropriate alternative to
>  longdesc when the description exists in the same page, but obviously
>  not when the description is in another document. I can also see there
>  may be some edge-cases when aria-labelledby may be considered a
>  suitable replacement for alt. These are edge-cases, as ARIA was
>  designed to bridge the accessibility gaps with the current structure
>  we have. Providing alt text for images wasn't one of those gaps, as
>  there is already a suitable attribute.


The question of should HTML5 throw out mandatory alt and write
optional alt into the spec to sanction for *one* use case (so flickr
et al doesn't have to bother with accessibility, can be blessed as
valid, and corporations can rack up more profit$) is a very slippery
slope. At this point I really don't think requiring alt is the
problem. It is the value that is the problem for vendors in one use

Optional alt is a way to codify and bless bad tools.  This is  the
elephant in the room. And until someone either comes up with a
solution that maintains the integrity of the markup while addressing
their business needs, or addresses putting the business requirements
above the integrity of the markup and accessibility, everyone is
wasting time arguing.

Best Regards,

Laura L. Carlson
Received on Monday, 28 April 2008 12:01:30 UTC

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