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This technique should be a failure technique

From: <noreply@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 12:41:33 +0000
Message-Id: <E1WDCeb-0005Pz-R1@shauna.w3.org>
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Name: Wilco Fiers
Email: w.fiers@accessibility.nl
Affiliation: Accessibility Foundation
Document: TD
Item Number: H2
Part of Item: Tests
Comment Type: general comment
Summary of Issue: This technique should be a failure technique
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
As an HTML technique, this one is very strange. It doesn’t give you a way to solve a certain problem, rather it says not to do something; namely to have two adjacent links with the same description. This seems much more the kind of thing failure techniques are for, the “Don’t do X”-type. Failing H2 doesn’t mean you failed the SC, since you can still have two links, one with an image and the next with a text, and the image has the same alternative as the text. The image can still meet technique H37 (img with descriptive alt) and thus someone might conclude this meets the success criteria.

There is a pretty good argument that can be made against this scenario. If the W3C logo has the text “W3C logo” adjacent to it, this could be considered it’s text alternative. Giving it an alt text of “W3C logo” would be redundant and thus the combined result of the two alternatives would be “W3C logo W3C logo” which is quite clearly not a good alternative. When these two bits of content are in separate links however, the content author MUST provide a text for each link in order to meet 4.1.2. So leaving the alt attribute empty wouldn’t be a solution in this case either. The only possible solution would be to combine the two links.

If this argument is valid (And I believe WCAG isn’t quite specific enough to decide either way, but opinions my vary ont this.), then that would mean having adjacent links one with an image and the other with a text would that had the same description would always be a failure. For 1.1.1 if the image repeated the text in it’s alt attribute and for 4.1.2 if the alt attribute was left empty.
This comment is part of the project for the Accessibility Support Database

Proposed Change:
Received on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 12:41:34 UTC

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