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Re: CFC re ISSUE-31 Missing Alt

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 03:23:21 -0500
Message-ID: <j2k1c8dbcaa1004290123kb72de2eay2e29ea8d16c509e6@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: Sean Hayes <Sean.Hayes@microsoft.com>, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, Matt Morgan-May <mattmay@adobe.com>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
Hi John,

Thank you very much for expressing your concerns.

> I'm having a very hard time with this myself. How, fundamentally, is
> crowd-sourcing and mining of obtuse metadata going to accurately supply
> appropriate text alternatives to an image. What differentiates
> crowd-sourcing from OCR guessing - they are guesses that have an equal
> chance of being wrong as even partially right.

I think that they are similar all right. I'll leave it to Matt and
Gregory to discuss the differences and similarity.

> I am not opposed to @missing (or @alt-not-asserted, or something of that
> nature) as this is accurate and precise - having others supply a guess as to
> what the image is (via crowd-sourcing, extrapolating from metadata, etc.)
> misses (for me) the whole point - the image was inserted by the author for a
> reason, and *only* the author can convey that reason.

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

> Crowd-sourcing
> neglects the fact that the "image" has a contextual component to it.

I agree. Crowdsourcing/metadata repair are not he same as text
alternatives originating from the author. They are patch-jobs trying
to supply something instead of nothing.

The thing is what happens when an author refuses to supply any text
alternative after being prompted? ...After a conscious decision has
been made by to deliberately publish images without text alternatives?
The crowdsourcing/metadata 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 whose contents are not
known" in the spec. For the Flickr photo of your daughter is no text
alternative better than "Eiffel Tower" or "girl in front of the Eiffel

I guess the questions we need to answer as a group is:

Is something better than nothing? Is repair (be it
crowdsourcing/metadata or whatever) after all else has failed, in an
effort to to mitigate damages, better than nothing?  Can it help?

Is it possible to turn a negative into something positive?

If the answer is yes,  the "incomplete" attribute can be the thing to
help facilitate it.

This is an important discussion to have.

It is an important decision to be made.

It shouldn't be rushed.

Best Regards,

Laura L. Carlson
Received on Thursday, 29 April 2010 08:23:56 UTC

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