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Re: Change proposals for ISSUE-31 and ISSUE-80

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 18:55:01 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTimk1CUi_FYCYPh_6ashFM4ZPu43ZE8upcRMJZw2@mail.gmail.com>
To: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
On Monday, July 19, 2010, Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 5:15 AM, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc> wrote:
>> I have two additional goals with these removals. First of all I think
>> @alt is the most (or even only) successful bolt-on accessibility
>> attribute in the history of HTML. And like old proverb goes: if it
>> ain't broken, don't fix it. I.e. given the success of @alt, I think we
>> should be extremely careful about messing around with it. For this
>> reason I'd like to make the number of changes to @alt as small as
>> possible.
> In what sense is alt so successful?  It's true that a lot of websites
> specify alt text, but in my experience, it's rarely any good.  In
> fact, most alt text I see is probably no better than just the
> filename, which could be added automatically by the screen reader.  It
> seems to me that authors who use alt text overwhelmingly do so just to
> shut up validators, and I can't see how this helps anyone.  It's a
> clear case of hidden metadata.

Yes, but compare that to the quality of other bolt-on accessibility
attributes like @summary or @longdesc. Compared to those @alt is a
smashing success.

Can you think of a bolt-on accessibility attribute that has been more

/ Jonas
Received on Friday, 23 July 2010 01:55:34 UTC

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