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Re: some reflections on @alt usage (and summary of research so far)

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 08:50:33 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80808230050m16ab23cdk92ae28348ba026d9@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>

Hi Ian,

In your righteuos efforts to  retrofit some 'research' to your
unsubstantiated claims you have chosen to conflate the image gallery
use case with the 'simply is no text that could do justice to the
image' use case.

Or is it your contention that the images in the photo sites you cite
are of the category 'simply is no text that could do justice to the
image'  if so, your abilites or your motivation to provide text
alternatives is very limited indeed.

The example from the spec that was the subject of your statement was
not one identified as from a photo site, it is the rorshach example.
So you busily perusing photo sites as you appeared to have done last
night does not  provide adequate or relevant 'research' to back up
your assumptions.

I suggest the basis for something that could actually be described as
relevant research in this case would something like
a) select from a random sample of images out of the context in which
they were published as web content, those which you consider fit the
category you defined "Sometimes there simply is no text that can do
justice to an image."
b) go and look at the images in context and see if descriptive
identification is provided elsewhere on the page that is unambiguously
associated with the image (not just an implied visual association).

>  Is that really what you see when you look at Rorschach1? Personally I see
>  a butterfly with moth-eaten wings, and two little claw hands around the
>  head.

The inkblot has certain physical qualities that can be described
independent of a persons interpretation of its meaning.

I see many things and if thats what you see include it as a text
alternative, I am sure that it will be a lot more illuminating' than
"left brace inkblot test right brace" to a screen reader user (for

The issue remains in the case of the 'simply is no text that could do
justice to the image'  that your opinion of what constitutes an
appropriate value for the alt in these cases and written into the spec
differs from WCAG 2.0. And you have provided no research or argument
as to why your opinion should be included in the spec over the WCAG
2.0 guidance.

Received on Saturday, 23 August 2008 07:51:08 UTC

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