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[Bug 10481] Default role of <IMG> should be "img"

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2010 23:54:46 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1OuZuA-0006zt-Dm@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #48 from Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>  2010-09-11 23:54:44 ---
(In reply to comment #42)
> > I'm sympathetic to Ian's concern to avoiding cluttering speech/text/braille
> > renderings with irrelevant information,
> Which poses a larger questions: is this a solution in search of a problem?

I don't think so. In my experience, screen reader users (for example) often
mention "clutter" generally in webpages as a problem. Here's a few examples
from public mailing lists:

   * http://www.mail-archive.com/jaws-users-list@jaws-users.com/msg18188.html

   * http://www.mail-archive.com/jaws-users-list@jaws-users.com/msg27293.html

   * http://www.mail-archive.com/blindhandyman@yahoogroups.com/msg13088.html
("graphics laden web sites")

All things being equal, reduction of clutter is good.

> Has this ever been reported as a problem?

End-users seem highly unlikely to articulate concerns in terms of how elements
are mapped to accessibility APIs, but JAWS's announcing of "graphic" sometimes
comes up as a user annoyance, e.g.:

   * http://www.freelists.org/post/jfw/graphic [2006]

   * http://www.freelists.org/post/jfw/graphics (and thread) [2010]

As a user, I personally think it's highly suboptimal if to consume a webpage I
need to view UI images (e.g. icons) or even be notified of their existence.
More generally, I think it's a real failure that a purportedly media
independent, user-formattable markup language requires this.

So it would be great if we could work out a way to discard such irrelevant
information. But I suspect it's not safe to do this in the blanket manner
suggested by Hixie, even though some implementations apparently do this (e.g.
Safari+VoiceOver). Maybe there's some heuristics we could come up with (e.g.
images that are links, buttons, headings versus content images), or maybe not.

If not, I guess we need wider and better implementations of CSS3 Replaced
Content (http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-content/) that expose the replaced text to
accessibility APIs so that authors stop having to use "img" for safe-ish text

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Received on Saturday, 11 September 2010 23:54:48 UTC

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