W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2012

Re: img@relaxed CP [was: CfC: Close ISSUE-206: meta-generator by Amicable Resolution]

From: Peter Winnberg <peter.winnberg@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2012 10:42:39 +0200
Message-ID: <CAG21KWk2BXDcFO+1iUyGVh-=E15ppOOf2hZe4YPEJrGySbz3+w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Cc: "Michael[tm] Smith" <mike@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org, "Edward O'Connor" <eoconnor@apple.com>
This specification is (or at the very least should be in my opinion)
about best practice. I think all non-presentational images should have
an alternate text.  Providing alternate text is one of the most basic
things you can do when it comes to improving the accessibility of your
site.

That Flickr doesn’t provide a way to enter alternate text at all (that
I can find anyway) on the photos does not mean that this specification
needs to change. What is means is that the site will be less useable
(maybe not useable at all) for people who cannot see the photos on the
site. And that they cannot claim “technical excellence” by saying that
their site is conforming to the markup specification which, in my
opinion, is great because it will hopefully encourage others not to
make the same mistake.

If they want to have a validator that can ignore certain errors /
warnings, it is not very hard to make such changes in-house.

Technically this proposal is actually worse than the generator
exception. Because you would need to add this attribute to each
non-presentational image that lack alternate text to get around
validator “issues”. This means that for every image a user would have
to download extra bytes without any benefit for the user at all. This
is not the case with this the generator exception. Also both the
generator exception and this proposal seem to ignore the fact that
this kind of relaxed validation has been done in the past, using the
HTML 4.01 / XHTML 1.0 Transitional doctype that allowed more
presentational markup. I’m not saying that a document level switch is
a good idea though.

I’ll be objecting to this proposed relaxed attribute because of
reasons stated above and other reasons that other people here have
provided.

2012/8/1 Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>:
> On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 2:36 AM, Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net> wrote:
>> Well, perhaps not. PF does not accept this use case as valid, neither
>> did the WAI Ad Hoc that provided guidance on alt three years ago, nor
>> has the TF agreed this use case is valid.
>>
>> Quoting from Ted's CP:
>>
>> "The spec currently allows conformance checkers to waive alt=""
>> conformance requirements on pages with <meta name=generator> present.
>> This feature is intended to allow sites like Flickr (which accept bulk
>> photo uploads from their users and can't reasonably require their users
>> to provide alternative text) to check the conformance of their Web
>> applications without being inundated with warnings or errors that the
>> site developers can't do anything about. If we don't allow such sites to
>> do this, they have and will add bogus alt="" text to their pages simply
>> to pass in popular conformance checkers, thus harming the accessibility
>> of their pages."
>>
>> This paragraph contains three false assertions:
>>
>> 1.)     The 2009 guidance document from the WAI Ad Hoc provided a solution that
>> that site developers could adopt which would satisfy alt concerns when
>> individual authors failed to provide individualized alt text.
>> http://www.w3.org/2009/06/Text-Alternatives-in-HTML5.html
>>
>> The assertion that large site developers are hapless victims is false.
>> Repeating this false assertion will not make it true.
>>
>> 2.)     It is asserted that developers would fill alt with bogus text.
>> But, no evidence has yet been provided in support of this claim. This
>> assertion is also false, and repeating it will also not make it true.
>>
>> 3.)     If bogus text were inserted, it is asserted this would cause
>> harm to a11y? But, what harm? This has never been demonstrated and is,
>> in fact, also a false assertion whose repetition will not make it true.
>>
>> This use case is a bogus, red herring.
>
> FWIW what Flickr are doing _today_ when they don't have text appears
> to be just setting alt="photo".
>
> Photo page of latest upload on Flickr at time of writing has
>
>    <img id="liquid-photo" alt="photo" aria-describedby="title_div"
> width="640" height="427"
> src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8005/7688297284_4a72f82f25_z.jpg"
> style="visibility: visible; ">
>
>     <h1 id="title_div" property="dc:title" class="photo-title">IMG_7354.jpg</h1>
>
>     https://secure.flickr.com/photos/sarahannward/7688297284/
>
> They link to that page with:
>
>     <img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8005/7688297284_4a72f82f25_t.jpg"
> width="100" height="67" alt="IMG_7354.jpg by sarahannward"
> class="pc_img" border="0">
>
>     https://secure.flickr.com/photos/
>
> --
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
>
Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 08:43:20 UTC

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