Re: HTML Action Item 54 - ...draft text for HTML 5 spec to require producers/authors to include @alt on img elements.


I realize that I am late in responding to this thread. Thanks to 
Steve, Laura, et. al. for putting this together.

However, I would like to add my voice to those of the workgroup who 
have advocated for requiring an alt attribute for the img element.  I 
work with several AT users who rely heavily on the alt attribute to 
find out what information they may be missing when a page includes 
images, and I've seen their frustration when no such information is provided.

Considering what it provides for those users who need it, it's a 
small imposition on developers.

I have one comment regarding the Complex Data Image advice 
A couple of years back, I was working on a project that posted 
artwork on the Internet.  The question arose as to whether 
description would be meaningful to non-visual people, so I posed it 
to a listserv of assistive technology users who provided feedback on 
web sites from their perspective.  Surprisingly, I heard from several 
individuals with vision impairments who said 'yes.'  They had been 
born sighted, and said that given an adequate description, they were 
able to visualize the posted artwork.

My reason for sharing that anecdote is that the heading for that 
section is "Complex Data Images" seems to imply that the only complex 
images that warrant a detailed description are those representing the 
interpretation of data.  I suggest that non-data-dependent complex 
images should also be included.

Debi Orton/

At 11:28 AM 5/8/2008, you wrote:

>Dear HTML WG members,
>The first draft of our rewrite of major sections of 3.12.2 "The img
>element" in the HTML5 draft is now available:
>This is the deliverable for HTML Issue tracker - Action item 54 [1]
>This work is intended to be complimentary to the existing
>specification and is written to some degree as a gap analysis of
>previous iterations of the draft. This task was undertaken by Steve
>Faulkner, Laura Carlson and Joshue O Connor who have expertise in the
>field of web accessibility. It has been reviewed by Gez Lemon and
>Gregory J. Rosmaita, who both have solid and vast knowledge of WCAG
>2.0 and are or have been members of the WCAG WG.
>The draft text is based on the February 6, 2008 PFWG advice that the HTMLWG:
>  " the <img> element section to bring it into line as
>  techniques for implementing WCAG 2.0. We say 2.0 because of the strong
>  likelihood that WCAG 2.0 will precede HTML5 to Recommendation status.
>  WCAG WG is chartered to set Accessibility guidelines and HTML WG is
>  not; so HTML5 should be careful to create features that support WCAG
>  and describe their use in ways that conform to WCAG."
>  The aim of this draft is therefore to comply with WCAG 2.0, Guideline
>1.1. Text Alternatives:
>  "Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be
>changed into other forms people need, such as large print, Braille,
>speech, symbols or simpler language..."
>  Further PFWG advice has been sought, is needed, and is pending
>regarding related items as detailed in the draft. Please note that
>this document does not attempt to address the issue of what an
>authoring or publishing tool should insert, in a case where no alt has
>been provided by the author, but the image is known to be "critical
>content". That too is awaiting PFWG advice.
>We trust that this document will be beneficial and a positive
>contribution to the development of the HTML 5 specification.
>Steve Faulkner
>Laura Carlson
>Joshue O Connor

Received on Wednesday, 21 May 2008 03:13:31 UTC