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Please reconsider 1.1.1 exceptions!

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2007 09:15:31 -0700
Message-ID: <466980A3.6050409@gorge.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, oedipus@hicom.net, sean@miscoranda.com, chaals@opera.com

http://inamidst.com/patterns/StyleIsContent makes it very clear why 
1.1.1 needs attention. The use of the term "pure decoration" and the 
glossary example "The cover page of a dictionary has random words in 
very light text in the background." underline the problem with this 
concept. The only reason for allowing null alt-text ("") is to allow the 
screen reader an easy way to remain silent as to the real 
purpose/content of the supposedly "serving only an aesthetic purpose, 
providing no information, and having no functionality" and this is 
actually nonsense because even an "aesthetic purpose" cannot possibly be 
"providing no information" or "having no functionality" or it wouldn't 
be there.

The drawback to this silence is that one cannot know whether the author 
merely disdained furnishing proper alt-text or if she arbitrarily 
decided that the reasons for including non-functional materials (surely 
that's oxymoronic?) transcended the inconvenience of making the screen 
reader spout excess verbiage.

Because alt-text has been called the "poster child of accessibility" it 
is vital that its inclusion be essentially forced on authors through 

Received on Friday, 8 June 2007 16:15:51 UTC

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