Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

On 6/19/07 2:32 PM, "Craig Francis" <> wrote:

> On 19 Jun 2007, at 18:30, Geoffrey Sneddon wrote:
>> Yes, but the majority of cases in the wild @alt="" is not used
>> because the image is semantically devoid of meaning, but rather
>> because the author hasn't given any alternative.
> Personally I think an empty alt attribute indicates that the author
> has declared that the image has no alternative... rather than just
> forgetting to add one.
> I prefer validators to complain when my <img> tags don't have an alt
> attribute, as it makes me check to see if the image needs one.
> Craig

I'd prefer that the alt tag not be required at all.

In an html5 world...

... Not need for alt there, the vision impaired user would know that the
figure is of a....whatever the captions says.

Then let's say this displayed image is part of an image gallery which has a
long list of thumbnails that change the main image and caption.
Even though I'm a user with perfect vision I often can't make out what I'm
looking at in a thumbnail and I like it when thumbnails have tooltips as I
hover over them which are provided by title=

<li><a><img title="a butterfly" alt="an image of a butterfly"></a></li>

That seems sort of pointlessly repetitive to me.
It would be best if by the time html5 is ready for use that the assistive
technologies would:

Ignore <img> that have no alt attribute <img src="spacer.gif">
Prefer alt over title in cases where both are used
Use title as alt in cases where title is present but alt was omitted

And I also think it would be best for regular browsers to also treat alt
like title and give it a tool tip in cases where alt is present but title is

And I think validators should give a 'notice', not a warning, when it
encounters an image without an alt or title attribute.

"Notice: the following images in your document do not have any descriptive
information assigned to them (alt/title).
Please review them to ensure they don't need any.
If in fact they don't need any sort of description then you are probably
improperly using the <img> tag for styling purposes and should strongly
consider using the CSS multiple background-image features instead".

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Received on Thursday, 21 June 2007 20:40:22 UTC