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Re: Empty vs no alt attribute (was Re: Baby Steps or Backwards Steps?)

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 19:58:14 -0500
Message-Id: <0699AF57-6157-4F94-B025-342D8317376B@robburns.com>
Cc: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie, Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>

On Aug 18, 2007, at 2:38 PM, Robert Burns wrote:

> Hi Josh,
> On Aug 18, 2007, at 6:29 AM, Joshue O Connor wrote:
>>>> 1)  <img>
>>>> 2) <img embedrel='missing'>
>>>> the value of embedrel is 'missing'. These all reflect the important
>>>> information that the alternate for this content is missing. It
>>>> doesn't matter whether an authoring tool couldn't provide the
>>>> information (2), or its simply a careless author (1) or not
>>>> targeted at all to be accessible (2) in an email application.
>> </confusion>
>> <glimmer_of_comprehension>
>> So I guess this could be a situation where an author of the  
>> webpage has
>> been given unfamiliar (to them) content by someone to mark up. The
>> content is not a domain that the developer is familiar with or  
>> qualified
>> to comment on, so he/she states. "Here is an image, there is some
>> important  information in this image but its missing an alt  
>> description
>> as whoever wrote this piece  didn't include it and I as a mere web
>> developer am not in a position to comment, and as a result you (as a
>> user of AT) may not fully understand what is going on here"?
>> <hopeful_happy_ending>
>> Is this correct?
>>> We've discussed a bit further off-list, and he seemed to share  
>>> the same
>>> goals.
>> Cool.
> Yes, I think you understood it well (though the suspense was  
> killing me). :-)
> I'm still getting a better understanding of my proposal as I  
> discuss it, but this might help.
> The attribute @embedrel either 1) describes the relation of the  
> embedded content to the surrounding document or document fragment;  
> OR 2) tells the user where they can find it. In the case of  
> 'decorative' and 'icon', that is the relation (though with 'icon'  
> there can be more explanation in the fallback location too). For  
> 'seecontext' users should read the surrounding context to  
> understand everything they need to know about the embedded content.  
> For 'seefallback' users should read the fallback. Finally, (and  
> perhaps it is a better exposition to end with this  one) 'missing'  
> means the explanation of the relation between the embedded content  
> and the surrounding document is missing. It has not been provided.
> IS this a document conformance error? I think leaving off @embedrel  
> completely with no value should definitely be a document error.  
> Adding it with the value missing is not ideal either, but at least  
> it lets authors know that there is something missing from their  
> document: perhaps something that can be made complete later. Every  
> time the author edits the document, they may see these 'missing'  
> keywords.

One other thing on this proposal to add a new required embedrel  
attribute to IMG:


In some off-list discussions on the topic , there are other use-cases  
where 'missing' may be needed. There are batch processors that  
quickly generate a webpage even from just the contents of a camera's  
flash memory. Other examples of apps that may need this are  
conversion applications or an OCR to HTML application that may  
process in a batch mode.

Also , I'd say I'm not totally happy with the NCNames I've come up  
with for these facilities. They're roughly what I think we ned, but  
I'd welcome any better names anyone wants to suggest.

Take care,
Received on Sunday, 19 August 2007 00:58:26 UTC

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