W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > April 2010

Re: CFC re ISSUE-31 Missing Alt

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 07:31:45 -0500
Message-ID: <j2m1c8dbcaa1004280531if7f81684n4a2f1ccb1e698843@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sean Hayes <Sean.Hayes@microsoft.com>
Cc: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>, Dave Singer <singer@apple.com>, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
Hi Sean,

> I have a concern about the crowdsourcing idea, I think it suffers from
> some of the same issues that chaals objected to in using metadata from
> the image. If the author doesn’t include the contextual reason the
> image is included in the page, then a 3rd party has to second guess
> the authors intent for that image use. There may be many
> interpretations of that image, but only the author can know the
> 'right' one.

Thank you very much for expressing this concern.

I agree that the author has the best know chance of knowing the true
intent of why an image is used. But sometimes they even they don't
know. I teach a module on writing text alternatives. Many don't have a
clue of why they are including an image. I have to drag it out of
them. Crowdsourcing may help to teach the masses how to write text

What happens when an author refuses to supply any text alternative
after being prompted? ...After a conscious decision has been made by
the author to deliberately publish images without text alternatives?
The crowdsourcing idea is a repair technique to help mitigate damages
for when the author did not (and does not intend to) provide any text
alternative. Ian calls it "when images are not known" in the spec.

Gregory, a blind photographer, has tried to crowdsource text
alternatives on a number of his photos on his blog. A built in HTML5
mechanism would facilitate this.

I guess the question we need to answer is:

"Is crowdsourcing a text alternative after all else has failed, better
than no text alternative?"

> If it's OK for a 3rd party Crowdsourcer to add "picture of black curly
> haired dog on white background" to an image catalogue, when the
> authors intent was "President Obama's dog Bo getting his first taste
> of snow on the Whitehouse lawn", then it should be OK for the image
> metadata to suffice too, since the metadata of an AFP/Getty image for
> example is far more likely to contain the latter than the former.

The missing/crowdsourcing mechanism wouldn't apply to text
alternatives that are not missing.

Best Regards,

Laura L. Carlson
Received on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 12:32:19 UTC

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