Re: Request for PFWG WAI review of Omitting alt Attribute for Critical Content

I would like to submit a link to this article to the references  
(specifically the section "a picture is worth a thousand words")

In summary: "Alt" text needs to be written by writers in order to  
convey the emotion the image expresses, rather than merely tagging  
the image.

To me, having alt as an attribute suggests the use of a concise tag  
like 'UT tower" rather than a more wordy "Evening view of UT tower  
aglow after a big Texas win." Even using an <img>...</img> syntax  
suggests the use of a longer text string, as would a "label for" like  

That text should be a caption associated with the image, for either  
everyone to see, or only as alternate text. If the facility is useful  
not only for accessibility, I could see it being better adopted.

Also, I would add that images are often specified in CSS these days.  
Something to consider, unless we presume that these background-images  
are not in need of alt text.

Finally, when alt text is really, really required is for links... but  
how does this get along with the "title" attribute of the link?

A little late to chime in, maybe I have nothing new to say, but  
hopefully some new ideas will come of this.
- nathan.

On 23-Oct-07, at 6:04 AM, Laura Carlson wrote:

> The HTML 5 working group is questioning and debating the need for the
> alt attribute on critical content. In fact, the current HTML 5
> Editor's Draft allows instances where critical content is allowed to
> have no alt attribute on the img element.
> Alternate text is essential for accessibility. There needs to be a
> markup solution to indicate whether or not the alternate text of an
> image is critical to understand the content - omitting such an
> important attribute is ambiguous, and doesn't help anyone. The problem
> is differentiating between ignorant and intentional lack of text.
> The issue is detailed at:
> In order for this debate to reach a satisfactory resolution, review of
> this issue and advice from the PFWG and WAI on the potential
> accessibility impact of omitting alt attribute for critical content in
> HTML 5 would be appreciated.
> Thank you.
> Best Regards,
> Laura L. Carlson
> Steve Faulkner
> Gregory J. Rosmaita
> Joshue O Connor
> Philip TAYLOR
> Robert Burns
> --
> HTML WG Members

Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2007 16:02:43 UTC