W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > May 2008

debate predicated on incorrect implied definition of alt text - was :alt text on Validator.nu image report

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 09:49:22 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80805050149u68deaedbp44cb813ade2cc390@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

smylers et al you are using examples of alt text usage from the
current html5 spec that are not consistent with WCAG 2.0 and therefore
will need to be changed and will be at some point.

These inconsistencies have been pointed out in detail, so i won't
reiterate them, but will say regardless of whether the alt is optional
or not, the current
examples of alt usage are wrong and therefore are not a good basis for

The PF WG have been asked for advice and to consult with WAI on this
and will be providing that in the near future. stay tuned.

see ya!

On 05/05/2008, Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com> wrote:
> Ian Hickson writes:
> > An alternative would be to require alt="" to be specified on these
> > images (e.g. with your suggestion "External Image", or "Photo", or
> > whatever -- a caption, in this case, not an alternative) and then add
> > a new attribute which means "This image is intended to be used as an
> > image and cannot be considered equivalent to any text":
> >
> >    <figure>
> >     <img src="1100670787_6a7c664aef.jpg" alt="Photo"
> >          importantimage="importantimage"/>
> >     <legend>Bubbles traveled everywhere with us.</legend>
> >    </figure>
> >
> > Then, the alternative text (which would be required to be a short label
> > for the kind of image being discussed, not its caption, not a description,
> > and obviously not any kind of alternative or replacement) would be taken
> > and made available to the user in a UI like this:
> >
> >    [Image: Photo]
> That sounds plausible.  I'm wondering whether it would also be of use
> for the 'graphical representation of some of the surrounding text' case.
> Elsewhere in this thread I've just written:
> > Ben Boyle writes:
> >
> > > Has anyone asked ... if I use <figure> and <legend> with an <img>,
> > > do I need to use @alt as well?
> >
> > Yes.  Well, at least, the current spec wording considers it.  That a
> > <legend> is being used isn't the salient point; what matters is
> > whether any visible text on the page (whether in a <legend>, a <p>, or
> > whatever) is already a textual alternative of the image.  In that case
> > alt="" is mandated, to clearly indicate that no information is
> > missing.
> However I find that somewhat unsatisfactory.  Suppose I'm browsing
> image-lessly (perhaps I'm on a train with a low-bandwidth connection)
> but can choose to view particular images (maybe I'm using 'Lynx' in X,
> where a selected image can be opened with an external image viewer);
> consider this example from the spec:
>  A graph that repeats the previous paragraph in graphical form:
>  <p>According to a study covering several billion pages,
>  about 62% of documents on the Web in 2007 triggered the Quirks
>  rendering mode of Web browsers, about 30% triggered the Almost
>  Standards mode, and about 9% triggered the Standards mode.</p>
>  <p><img src="rendering-mode-pie-chart.png" alt=""></p>
> I might appreciate seeing that pie chart.  However as the spec currently
> stands I can't know about its existence, so I can't choose to open it in
> an image viewer.  Perhaps having something like:
>  [Image: pie chart]
> in the document would be a useful indicator.  Clearly that isn't an
> alternative representation of the image's content, so could we co-opt
> your hypothetical new flag for this case as well:
>  <img src="rendering-mode-pie-chart.png" alt="pie chart" importantimage>
> > It would then be non-conforming to have such alt text (text saying what
> > kind of image is present as opposed to text that can replace the image
> > altogether) _without_ this new attribute.
> Yes.  There's a risk of content generators which automatically add this
> flag to all images, just to ensure that pages apparently pass automated
> validation checks.
> Smylers

with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium

www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Web Accessibility Toolbar -
Received on Monday, 5 May 2008 08:49:59 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 29 October 2015 10:15:33 UTC