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

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis writes:
> 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"
Or perhaps adding a geographic reference if geo locative data is
available. There are a few possibilities.

> 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.
Do you mean something like inserting photos partway through a
collection? As opposed to adding some to the end?

> > 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.
I can accept that recalculating y on the fly may be problematic.
Nevertheless, with a disclaimer, I suspect it's still a useful indicator
as it helps one understand "I'm half way through, more or less," or "I'm
about a third of the way in," etc.

> 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
> page.
I doubt most users would be comfortable talking about URIs and

A useful and unique title is clearly helpful.

Failing that, the x of y pattern assists in general navigation and

I would assume that if no photos are added or deleted, the x of y would
stay constant for the actual photo/filename.

So, some use cases off the top of my head:

1.)	You want to get to your photos from Amsterdam, but your early
ones are from Paris because you went there first. So, when your sighted
friend sits down with you, you can quickly get close by guesstimating
some %y of y. And, once you get to the Amsterdam photos, you can note
that for whatever future reference might be useful.

2.)	You want to quickly sort through the ones your friend thinks are
really good, versus the ones you did a terrible job on. It is probably
too time consuming to ask someone to sit with you while you delete 40-50
bad ones inbetween every 1 or 2 good ones as you jointly look through
the album. But, jotting down the x of you for the good ones is a good
way to setup your ability to come back and trim out the not so good ones

3.)	You have a friend visiting who knew you in Paris and knows many
of your friends from Paris, but none of your London friends. 
You want to record an audio commentary to go along with the Paris
portion, and identify who's in which x of y, so you can:

a.)	Play that audio for the relevant segment of photos. (A future
b.)	Come back and properly tag the identified friends.

There are probably more. Note none of this would work with an alt of
just "Photo" as currently present, but all of this becomes possible with
x of y.

I don't see much value in the "uploaded by [name]" text, as I don't see
much of a use case for someone unable to see photos trying to work with
multiple people's albums. But, perhaps someone else can think of some.


> 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


Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.443.300.2200

The Linux Foundation
Chair, Open Accessibility:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair,	Protocols & Formats
	Indie UI

Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 08:47:04 UTC