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Re: clarification sought on publishing alt text document as a WG note

From: Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 18:27:24 -0400
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20141014182724.2c93a375.liam@w3.org>
On Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:52:45 +0100
Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 14 October 2014 22:26, Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:
> > Adding a note about the fact that Web browsers may truncate an alt
> > atribute value when rendered, to fit it into space reserved into an image
> I would suggest more testing


> adding a note as
> you suggest is not helpful as it oversimplifies the observed behaviours of
> browsers for display of images when images are disabled or unavailable.

Probably we should try & get consensus on the issues around this on the TF; however, a note that suggests the alt text may be unavailable, or only partly available, would seem more useful to me to content authors and to developers than silence.

> I started looking into browser behaviour again more recently I have
> observed that Chrome does not display alt text for *any* images when images
> are disabled through browser settings.

Yes; in other words alt text should not be relied on for long or detailed descriptions for the case where a sighted user has turned off images, or where some or all of the images don't load.

At any rate I made a bug for it some time ago, so that it could be reviewed. A "best practice" document has to try to avoid telling people to do things that don't work :-)

I can add to your test page, by the way, that current firefox wraps the value of the alt attribute in the space available, if the img element has height and width attributes; I believe it truncates when it runs out of room, but haven't tested that recently. I tested on Linux, FireFox 33.  I didn't try with css width and height properties and overflow: truncate (for example); that would probably do the same thing.

Thanks for the links,


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Received on Tuesday, 14 October 2014 22:27:28 UTC

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