Re: Is Flickr an Edge Case? (was Re: HTML Action Item 54)

On 5/27/08 1:59 PM, "L. David Baron" <> wrote:
> So you're saying that you prefer people litter their meaningful
> images with alt="" so that it's harder to distingush the meaningful
> ones without useful alternate text from those that are purely
> decorative?

If the alternative is having to distinguish between those two cases and a
third case where @alt was simply ignored, then yes, "littering," as you put
it, is preferable. However, your argument appears to be based on a belief
that the majority of authors would rather create bogus alt text to satisfy
the validator than create usable alt text, which is a theory I strongly

> Would you agree that something like alt="[PHOTO]" or alt="[IMAGE]"
> would be better for users in  that case than alt=""?

Photo, maybe, and only if it is, in fact, a photograph. Image, no, since
that's what screen readers announce anyway.

This approach (or "_none", or any other overloading of the content of @alt)
also has implications for i18n, as well as existing assistive technology,
which will read out loud whatever is specified without parsing it.

> If so, would you agree that it's worth standardizing what should be
> used to mark such a case rather than having authors pick "[IMAGE]"
> or "[PHOTO]" or their own variant?

I don't see the value in taking what should be a token and throwing it into
an attribute of type text. It strikes me as lazy.


Received on Tuesday, 27 May 2008 21:57:44 UTC