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RE: Image alt in WAI process intro

From: Swan, Henny <Henny.Swan@rnib.org.uk>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 11:51:56 +0100
Message-ID: <7DCC97516CAEE343BD17A00F900754E10778B0B8@jstmsx01.ads.rnib.org.uk>
To: <sylvie.duchateau@snv.jussieu.fr>, <shawn@w3.org>
CC: <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Hi All,
I agree with where Sylvie is coming from. 
These images are, to an extent, a visual aid to the information already
in the text and could be given a null ALT attribute to cut down noise on
the page. On the other hand they do add a little value visually as they
give a little context and almost act as a summary for the associated
text. If this can be captured in the ALT text then it may be worth
having descriptive ALT text as they are strictly speaking informative
images. If going with the idea that the images are informative possible
ALT text could be:
1. "Working drafts - there can be many working drafts"
2. "Last call working draft - the public are invited to comment"
3. "Candidate recommendation - the recommendations are publicly tested"
4. "Proposed recommendation - the document gathers endorsements"
5. W3C recommendation - the document becomes a web standard"
The above is not perfect but what I'm trying to do is use the name of
the stage and a summary sentence of what the outcome/point is of the
stage is so that it acts as an introduction to the fuller text
description that follows. Hopefully then it becomes useful and adds
value rather than clutter.
Regards, Henny


From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org on behalf of Sylvie Duchateau
Sent: Tue 19/09/2006 09:22
To: shawn@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Subject: RE: Image alt in WAI process intro

hello Shawn, Andrew and all,
I agree with Andrew's comment below.
The alt contents are not helpful for someone who cannot see the images
because it cannot help illustrate the visual effect of these images.
Empty alt tags would be a first solution. But it does not give
equivalent information as the information provided by the images.
There should be a short text equivalent of each image that should not
explain what the images look like, but this text equivalent should
explain which information they try to provide.

For the moment, I have no idea of the information that should be
contained in the alt attribute, so I think that empty alt would be
The process is here provided by the title of each list item and by the
numbering of each item.
If you take Andrew's example of explaining on the phone the steps
described in hte document, you would not try to describe each image but
you would say : first step is this, second step is that and so on.


*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 19/09/2006 at 12:38 Andrew Arch wrote:

>William wrote:
>> Because we are the WAI, I think it's OK to use the descriptive text.
>We get two different responses from Vision Australia clients. Those who
>have never had sight, want a fast reading page with minimal "noise",
>do not want alt text on images that are not 100% informative. Some of
>the clients who have had sight, prefer to know what images are on the
>page regardless.
>On this basis, as most sights are not for entertainment, we tend to
>towards recommending minimal alt text, and only where it adds value.
>Think about it as though you were reading the page to someone over the
>telephone - do they need to know about the images? If yes, what do they
>need to know?
>My two-bobs worth.  Andrew
>Dr Andrew Arch
>Manager Online Accessibility Consulting
>Vision Australia - Accessible Information Solutions
>Ph. +61 (0)3 9864 9282; Mob: 0438 755 565
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org] On
>> Behalf Of William Loughborough
>> Sent: Tuesday, 19 September 2006 9:39 AM
>> To: Shawn Henry
>> Cc: EOWG (E-mail)
>> Subject: Re: Image alt in WAI process intro
>> Shawn Henry wrote:
>> > What are your thoughts on providing descriptive alt text such as is
>> > there now, or null alt text?
>> Because we are the WAI, I think it's OK to use the descriptive text.
>> also think the null solution would be acceptable, but we should do
>> than that for illustrative purposes.
>> We might even include a note that although we're showing what we say
>> we're showing, it's only marginally informative and could be "".
>> Love.
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Received on Wednesday, 20 September 2006 10:53:24 UTC

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