Re: Proposal: accessibility revision for the img element...

At 13:29 +0300 UTC, on 2007-07-06, Henri Sivonen wrote:

> On Jul 6, 2007, at 13:14, Joshue O Connor wrote:
>> 'Fallback' has a rather pointed connotation that it is somehow
>> secondary or not that important and for non-visual users it is
>> obviously 'primary' content.
> Political correctness aside, realistically, it *is* secondary as far
> as the *author* is concerned.

That contradicts "The img element represents a piece of text with an
alternate graphical representation." Source:

> Or more to the point, the still image,
> canvas or video is *primary* from the realistic *author* point of
> view. If this wasn't the case, the author would provide the text in
> the main body of the content--not as something that is only presented
> when something else isn't.

FWIW, HTML does not provide any mechanisms for authors to publish non-text as
a secundary alternative to text. If it would, it might turn out that the
difference between primary and secundary methods to convey the same might not
always be that big, or exist at all.

Consider that conveying one thing to multiple people often fails. One
explanation works for one, but not for another person. When only speech or
text are available, we tend to therefore say the same thing multiple times,
in different ways. But different members of your audience may well need your
message to be conveyed through different media. In that case they are true
equivalents. (In fact, advertisers often work this way: convey the same
message through different media, like film, image, text.)

And I think this applies to most cases. We just don't yet have easy enough
means to often provide all those different equivalents. In the pre-Internet
world it's usually not practically possible. You usually have only a single
medium available. But on the Web, it would be technically possible to provide
the same message through multiple media.

[... "fallback"]

>> I would suggest 'equivalent' (maybe we need an <equal> element?).
> That will lead to endless discussions about whether content in
> different media can ever be truly "equivalent".

Hehe :)

I think "textual alternative" can be combind with "fallback" in the spec. See

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <>

Received on Friday, 6 July 2007 21:32:55 UTC