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Re: alt attribute comments?

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2007 16:00:11 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80709230800p4a26deb6nb677e320b1cce939@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Anne van Kesteren" <annevk@opera.com>
Cc: www-archive@w3.org
hi anne,

>The HTML5 draft does not allow no alt attribute for any image. It's
>actually a MUST level requirement to provide it for most and a SHOULD for
>images with critical content.

from the draft spec the reason you give for not providing an alt text does
not appear to fit

"the alt attribute should only be omitted when no alternative text is
available and none can be made available, e.g. on automated image gallery
sites."
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/section-embedded.html#the-img

You could have provided alts for the images, but chose not to.

from the spec their appears to be 3 situations where alt may be omitted
1. when no alt can be made available and none can be made available
2. when there simply is no text that can do justice to an image
3. When an image is included in a communication (such as an HTML e-mail)
aimed at someone who is known to be able to view images,

all of which are open to interpretation as the examples of where the alt may
be omitted are just that, examples it is not prescribed
that "critical content" only applies to photo sites, many pages can
contain images that could be descibed as "critical content" and if we
follow your view,
if the author decides that he/she does not want to provide an alt
because for example "no users of my site are disabled" or "not
finding it necessary to provide replacement text for all those images. This
would take too much time for little benefit" then their pages will be  be
both valid and conformant.


BTW
Don't you think it a little odd that the draft
tells authors that they MUST have the alt attribute  on meaningless images
but makes it optional on those with meaning that is critical content?

>Regarding no alt= attribute, that indeed seems to be case. Which is why we
>might want to try something else instead. On the other hand, going out
>from the current state of the art of screen readers doesn't really help
>solving this problem I think. Dunno really.

yes i think something else is definitley needed. something to explicitly
flag images that have the alt attribute omitted for those reasons that are
cited in the spec.

btw
it is interesting to note that images with titles but no alt are not ignored
by AT UA's, their title attributes content is announced.

See Ya!

On 23/09/2007, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com > wrote:
>
> On Sun, 23 Sep 2007 10:00:52 +0200, Steven Faulkner
> <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> As for finding it necessary, I do think that would be one of the
> >> reasons.
> >> Say you have 300 photos and you want to share them online as quickly as
> >> possible and you want to pass machine checkable validation. What to do?
> >> (Consider that most authors will take the easiest option and that the
> >> easiest option might be bad for accessibility if alt= is mandated,
> etc.)
> >
> > I wonder at what level does it stop? If I have 100 or 50 0r 10 photos
> > that i want to share, is it OK then to not include the alt attribute?
> > Then if its OK  for 10 why not 1.
>
> I would expect people who care enough to do it most of the time and people
> who don't to never get it right. As I mentioned in my post, I'm not really
> looking for a solution into the content producers side as it doesn't seem
> the solution will be coming from there.
>
>
> > both options are bad for accessibility (either no alt attribute for any
> > image or alt="" on an image that contains information not provided
> > elsewhere in associated text content).
>
> The HTML5 draft does not allow no alt attribute for any image. It's
> actually a MUST level requirement to provide it for most and a SHOULD for
> images with critical content.
>
>
> >> I'm not sure what other meaning the _user agent_ can extract from
> alt=""
> >> than simply acting as if it was not there.
> >
> > This is the same as what AT UA's do for no alt attribute under most
> > circumstances. As no useful info can be provided to the user unless
> > someone has provided that info in the first place.
>
> This was in reply by the way to your comment on what alt="" means. My
> comment on that was that for the user agent it doesn't matter, and my post
>
> talked about the user agent.
>
> Regarding no alt= attribute, that indeed seems to be case. Which is why we
> might want to try something else instead. On the other hand, going out
> from the current state of the art of screen readers doesn't really help
> solving this problem I think. Dunno really.
>
>
> --
> Anne van Kesteren
> <http://annevankesteren.nl/>
> <http://www.opera.com/ >
>



-- 
with regards

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

www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Web Accessibility Toolbar -
http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
Received on Sunday, 23 September 2007 15:00:21 UTC

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