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alt=\"\" is hard to ignore by developers!

From: WCAG 2.0 Comment Form <nobody@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2008 06:10:39 +0000 (GMT)
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-Id: <20080308061039.809B3BF63@nelson.w3.org>

Name: Brett Zamir
Email: brettz9@yahoo.com
Document: TD
Item Number: H67
Part of Item: Applicability
Comment Type: general comment
Summary of Issue: alt=\"\" is hard to ignore by developers!
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
Sorry for the late comment, but I feel this strongly deserves attention given the potential frequency of use of alt. As you surely want developers to be able to notice when they are genuinely missing @alt on an <img/>, encouraging it to be empty for even purely decorative images that SHOULD be ignored is, imo, certainly inviting all but the most dedicated accessiblity-friendly developers to ignore this. If my document is using 100 alt\'s and they are all blank, it is a lot of extra trouble to verify which are decorative and which are not, especially if I have already taken the trouble to verify before that my alt texts should genuinely be blank but have now subsequently had other images added into the document, and I\'m not sure whether those subsequent images have had @alt\'s addressed and if not, where they are amidst all the others.

If one knows, however, to add some specified null type to @alt, one can rely on accessibility warnings when there are actual blank alt=\"\"\'s to know that there are some still to be filled in.

Proposed Change:
Have \"null\" alt text be set to xsi:null or something which indicates that the alt text has not been ignored, but which assistive technologies can be programmed to ignore.
Received on Saturday, 8 March 2008 06:10:47 UTC

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