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

Cannot the ALT attribute tell someone if something is an icon or the purpose of an image?

We do need something to show where the text equivalent is if the image needs a long description.

I think another important addition for defining text equivalents, especially in the age of pod casts is the ability to define a text transcript or a synchronized caption for audio and video.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 14:38:47 -0500
>From: Robert Burns <>  
>Subject: Re: Empty vs no alt attribute (was Re: Baby Steps or Backwards Steps?)  
>Cc: Sander Tekelenburg <>, HTMLWG <>,
>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'  
>Take care,
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D.
Director of IT Accessibility Services (CITES)
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology (DRES)


Received on Monday, 20 August 2007 01:22:11 UTC