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RE: HTML Action Item 54 - ...draft text for HTML 5 spec to require producers/authors to include @alt on img elements.

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 04:39:06 +0000 (UTC)
To: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Cc: 'Steven Faulkner' <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, public-html@w3.org, 'W3C WAI-XTECH' <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org, 'Dan Connolly' <connolly@w3.org>, 'Chris Wilson' <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "'Michael(tm) Smith'" <mike@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0805090424511.16669@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Fri, 9 May 2008, Justin James wrote:
> 
> Here's the rub. It is impossible for the specification to mandate the 
> contents of @alt, only that @alt appear or not appear. I supposed the 
> spec can mandate that the contents of @alt not be null. Outside of that, 
> we can only make recommendations.

That's not entirely true, we can mandate whatever we want. We just can't 
machine-check much beyond presence and non-null-ness. For example, we 
require that authors use <h1> for headers, but we can't check it without 
a human (at the moment -- AI might get there eventually!).


> The people who are omitting @alt now will simply add null @alt's, which 
> is effectively the same as no @alt at all.

Since HTML4 already requires that alt be included always (without dealing 
with the cases that have been raised many times on this thread) the people 
who are omitting alt today will probably just continue to do so. :-)


I have saved the proposed text to the graphics-img-alt folder, by the way, 
and will be dealing with it in due course, along with the e-mails from Al 
and various others that raised interesting points:

   http://www.whatwg.org/issues/#graphics-img-alt

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 9 May 2008 04:39:53 GMT

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