Re: Baby Steps or Backwards Steps?

On Thu, Aug 16, 2007 at 08:34:35PM +1000, Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> Seriously, of the following alternatives, which is better for a 
> non-decorative content image, in the cases where good alternative text is 
> not available?
> 1. No alt attribute.
> 2. Empty alt attribute.
> 3. Alt text with a redundant value (one that just repeats surrounding 
> content such as its heading or caption)
> 4. Alt text with a value like alt="photo" or other similar value.

3 followed by 4, in that preference order.

3 at least unambiguously identifies this image (provided that the title or
caption is distinct). 4 at least indicates that the image is possibly
non-decorative, potentially significant content, and alerts the reader to the
fact that the document author hasn't made an effort to supply useful ALT text,
possibly providing site-specific or language-specific advice depending on the
authoring tool and its configuration.

> Given that the practical effect of requiring the alt attribute everywhere, 
> including photo sites like Flickr, is typically one of those options, what 
> benefits do options 2, 3 or 4 offer over option 1?

See above.

The most important consideration, however, is to design HTML producing
applications so as to minimize the occurrence of this scenario.

Received on Thursday, 16 August 2007 10:56:04 UTC