Re: [html4all] HTML5 Alternative Text, and Authoring Tools

So my understanding is that Matt's "@noalt" idea fits in right here, 
allowing authoring tools to communicate directly to the end user the 
distinction between two quite different cases:

(1) alt="" used properly to denote decorative images, as in:
<img href="123.png" alt="" />


(2) alt="" inserted just to meet the syntax requirement (regardless of 
the information value of the source image), as in:
<img href="456.png" alt="" noalt />

In other words, this allows an accessibility-aware authoring tool to 
output valid markup  (i.e. "img" contains the required @alt) even when 
the author has ignored the tool's prompts for a text equivalent of the 
information contained in the image.



Matt Morgan-May wrote:
> On 5/15/08 11:57 AM, "Dave Singer" <> wrote:
>>> So what should an authoring tool do when someone creates an <img> element
>>> with no @src? (Not a 404, a missing @src.) What about a missing </table>? An
>>> unclosed attribute value? An unterminated entity? Guessing at any of these
>>> things can have unintended negative consequences.
>> These are all syntax errors (or pointless constructions) which a
>> WYSIWYG tool can easily avoid.
> Not a WYSIWYG with a source view. Which nearly all of them have.
> As it is, a number of the authoring tools cited do the right thing: they
> prompt for @alt, and in its absence, omit its generation. That is, they see
> that it's a damaged structure, and being unaware of how to repair it
> authoritatively, they do not compound the damage by making it invisible to
> checking tools -- or end users.
> When the human asserts that it knows better than the tool, the tool must
> stand aside. This is a key principle in ATAG, partly because so many authors
> had problems _adding_ accessibility features to documents using certain
> authoring tools because the tool didn't understand the resulting code, then
> wiped it out without the author's knowledge.
> -
> m

Jan Richards, M.Sc.
User Interface Design Specialist
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC)
Faculty of Information Studies
University of Toronto

   Phone: 416-946-7060
   Fax:   416-971-2896

Received on Thursday, 15 May 2008 20:56:31 UTC