Better alts on Flickr? [Was: img@relaxed CP [was: CfC: Close ISSUE-206: meta-generator by Amicable Resolution]]

On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 5:15 AM, Janina Sajka <> wrote:
>> I'm not sure what you think the @alt would be if they did follow the
>> WAI ad hoc guidance. Something like "Photo 876 of 985"? Would that
>> really be a significant improvement for consumers of the photo page?
> Absolutely. It's precise and that's significant, where "Photo" is
> anything but.

I can imagine Flickr implementing this as something like:

"Photo 876 uploaded by sarahannward"

Giving a total is potentially confusing, as the total could be lower
than the number in the photo stream displayed elsewhere on the page
(since users can delete photos from their stream) and the name for the
image would continuously change as more photos were uploaded.

> Anyone who needs alt is unlikely to spend much time on Flicker to begin
> with. So, if someone does have a reason, the x of y precision is exactly the
> kind of automated alt that can be helpful.

Do you have a practical example of how the "x of y" pattern could help
someone in this case? Note that this pattern would not help @alt
consumers talk about photos with image consumers since the image
consumers would refer to the image in terms of its URL or its title
IMG_7354.jpg. The number of the upload (the X) is not displayed on the

Note that the title for this image as far as Flickr is concerned is
"IMG_7354.jpg". This is the text that is shown to users via the
<title> and <h1> elements. So maybe that would make for a better short
name for the image in @alt?

>> > Speaking of the uploader, there's every reason the upload tool could
>> > supply the alt strings contemplated by WAI Ad Hoc when the user hasn't
>> > bothered to individualize alt on each photo. in this way the WAI solution doesn't
>> > even require anything from Flicker to improve alt on Flicker.
>> I don't understand what you're talking about.
> The client application that a user uses to upload to Flicker can just as easily fill
> missing alt with x of y as can Flicker itself.

It seems likely that it's best to auto-generate short names for images
as late as possible rather than as early as possible, so that the site
generates them in a consistent manner.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 07:48:09 UTC