W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > April 2007

[whatwg] Alt text authoring Re: Conformance for Mail clients

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 12:43:46 +0300
Message-ID: <D9CAB965-C144-474C-8375-78ECDE88B1B4@iki.fi>
On Apr 23, 2007, at 03:00, Andrew Sidwell wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> How about:
>>
>> <img src="gallery2.jpg" alt="">  -- image could be omitted without
>> changing the meaning of the document (screen readers or text-only
>> browsers could just skip it)
>> <img src="gallery2.jpg" noalt> -- image cannot be omitted without
>> changing the meaning, but no text equivalent is available (screen
>> readers or text-only browsers / mail clients should give some  
>> indication
>> that an image is there)
>
> I actively like noalt.

I fail to see why noalt would better than the absence of the alt  
attribute. Web apps like Flickr could generate noalt with good  
confidence, but I don't see how quasi-WYSIWYG tools could be none the  
smarter with generating noalt than they could be with omitting alt.  
Therefore, I think the spec should cater for the behavior of Lynx here.

> Using alt="" has always seemed like a hack to
> me, implying that it did have alternative text when really it didn't.

Indeed. It is the obvious effect of trying to factor unrealistic  
ideals into conformance requirements. The harm-minimizing fix is to  
concede that you cannot force people to provide alt if they don't  
want to and make alt optional for the purposes of document conformance.

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Received on Monday, 23 April 2007 02:43:46 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Wednesday, 22 January 2020 16:58:54 UTC