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

RE: Adaptive Image Element Proposal

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2012 14:07:58 -0700
To: "'Charles McCathie Nevile'" <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, "'Mathew Marquis'" <mat@matmarquis.com>, "'Steve Faulkner'" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>, <public-respimg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <035b01cd87bc$b54f31c0$1fed9540$@ca>
Charles McCathie Nevile wrote
> 
> On Fri, 31 Aug 2012 21:14:06 +0200, Steve Faulkner
> <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > As previously discussed and bugged I do not support the addition of
> an
> > alt attribute to the picture element.
> [...]
> I agree. I am not a fan of the alt attribute as the way to incorporate
> alternative content, and would prefer to see a model like object or
> video.

Not looking to further muddy the water here, but graphic assets require both an AccessibleName and an AccessibleDescription. Currently in <img> @alt provides the AccessibleName, and that-attribute-still-unresolved is intended to provide the AccessibleDescription (longer textual alternative).

Without the means to signal both texts to Screen Readers (as well as the additional requirement of making the longer textual description something that the end-user requests, rather than having forced upon them) I wonder aloud how Steve's suggestion addresses these needs?

<picture> 
This is the text alternative
<img alt="">
</picture>

Since, as the quip goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, I fear that we might start seeing something like this:

<picture> 
	Painting: The Scream by Edvard Munch. In the painting, the central figure is abstracted and barely human, reduced down to the essence of acute anguish. The central figure is portrayed as having both hands placed on either side of their head, while the mouth is open in a rounded "O", as if screaming. The two smaller figures in the back left are sketched quite loosely, but still appear more completely human. All 3 characters appear to be standing on a boardwalk or bridge, set against a reddish sky suggesting sunset. The artist’s active and dynamic use of curving lines and strong colors give the composition an intense energy. What The Scream portrays is not a dream, but a nightmare.

<img alt="Painting: The Scream by Edvard Munch">
</picture>

Which will be a horrible user-experience (IMHO) if a screen reader user was forced the expanded description every time. This would reduce the amount of longer textual descriptions produced (a bad thing IMO) rather than encourage their creation.

(Related question, could/would that text be HTML rich? What if it read, instead:

<picture> 
	Painting: The Scream by <a href="">Edvard Munch</a>. In the painting, the central figure...  

... my initial thoughts would be that the answer is "No", for a raft of reasons)

> 
> (A subtle way of saying "picture of a man and a woman in a blue shirt
> with
> a small dog and a corporate sunset" is description, not a text
> alternative...)

Precisely.

JF
Received on Friday, 31 August 2012 21:08:45 UTC

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