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Re: Request for clarification of the case where 'the image isn't discussed by the surrounding text, but it has some relevance'

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 11:41:06 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80808250341g117c8de5qa4465172a34e8693@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Advice on how to mark up such images is given in WCAG 2.0:

"Sometimes content is primarily intended to create a specific sensory
experience that words cannot fully capture. Examples include a
symphony performance, works of visual art etc. For such content, text
alternatives at least identify the non-text content with a descriptive
label and where possible, additional descriptive text. If the reason
for including the content in the page is known and can be described it
is helpful to include that information."

So the example in the HTML5 spec illustrates the advocation on your
part of the use of markup that results in the author not being able to
conform to WCAG 2.0. This then appears to be a poor example indeed.

In the example there is no indication that it is a poem or that the
title of the the poem is "lady of shallott", indeed for sighted users
they may well think that the heading relates only to the image. Why
provide such an ambiguous example in an attempt to prove your point?

>The above has two problems; first it makes the page harder to understand for uses navigating the page without images,

lets have a look at 3 examples then, to see if your opinion is born out:

1. example with image displayed
2. example without image displayed (with alt text)
3. example without image displayed (without alt text)

In firefox, IE and Opera an indication of the missing image is shown
(border (and icon in IE & firefox) with the text alterntive displayed.
In safari a border is displayed, but no text alternative.

In screen readers such as window eyes and JAWS:
for the images with alt text, "graphic text alternative" is announced.

So how does it make the page harder to understand? the alt text is
clearly associated with the image and seperate from the rest of the

then you say:
> and second it brings in useless information that doesn't help the user.

which is a totally subjective assessment based on what?

an in your own words:
"...we have to base our decisions on the actual results of research rather
than our opinions..."
Ian Hickson:

2008/8/23 Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>:
> On Mon, 18 Aug 2008, Steven Faulkner wrote:
>> So would the example below be non-conforming?
>> <h1>The Lady of Shalott</h1>
>> <p><img src="shalott.jpeg" alt="Painting of woman in a small boat on a
>> river in the countryside. A tapestry trails behind her in the water
>> and there is a lantern, candles and a crucifix on the prow of the
>> boat. She wears a white dress and has long loose hair."></p>
>> <p>On either side the river lie<br>
>> Long fields of barley and of rye,<br>
>> That clothe the wold and meet the sky;<br>
>> And through the field the road run by<br>
>> To many-tower'd Camelot;<br>
>> And up and down the people go,<br>
>> Gazing where the lilies blow<br>
>> Round an island there below,<br>
>> The island of Shalott.</p>"
> Yes, this is non-conforming. The above has two problems; first it makes
> the page harder to understand for uses navigating the page without images,
> because it blends a description with a poem without a clear separation
> (which would be especially problematic in a speech rendering, since even
> the cue from the positioning of the line breaks would be lost); and second
> it brings in useless information that doesn't help the user.
> Now, if the page author had intended the image to be more than just
> decorative, e.g. if he wanted to show the image as an interpretation of
> the poem, then non-blank alternative text would be needed. For example,
> something like:
>  <p>The Lady of Shalott is both a painting and a poem. Compare and
>  contrast their features:</p>
>  <figure>
>  <legend>The painting</legend>
>  <p><img src="shalott.jpeg" alt="The painting shows a woman in a small
>  boat on a [...and so on...]"></p>
>  </figure>
>  <figure>
>  <legend>The poem</legend>
>  <p>On either side the river lie<br>
>  [...and so on...]</p>
>  </figure>
> I haven't included this example, because we already have some examples
> along these lines before the detailed alt="" section at the end of the
> main <img> section, but if you think it would be helpful nonetheless
> please do let me know.
> --
> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium

www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Web Accessibility Toolbar -
Received on Monday, 25 August 2008 10:41:42 UTC

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