Re: New issue: IMG section of HTML5 draft contradicts WCAG 1 & WCAG 2 (draft)

Yes of course there is a psychological/motivational component to getting 
authors who can see to spend extra time describing their images.  But 
this is familiar territory for any software with human users.

For example, is proper spelling a technical problem? Not really. 
Spelling is a social convention that aids communication (and helps 
people avoid looking sloppy) and spell checkers are programs that 
efficiently support authors in ensuring this social convention is 
adhered to. Similarly, describing images for people who can't see them 
is an (emerging) social convention for communication. And tools to 
efficiently support this new convention are certainly possible.

For more info, please see:


Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> Steven Faulkner wrote:
>> Two images without explicitly associated text alternatives.
>> 1 is an image is decorative that the author has accidently left off
>> the alt, the other is "critical content"
> I agree that this is a problem.  But if both have alt="", you have the 
> same issue, with the additional problem that the UA can't really try to 
> guess based on image analysis (unless the UA just starts ignoring alt="" 
> altogether).
> The real question is how to maximally motivate authors and authoring 
> tools to add alt text whenever they can without forcing them to add 
> incorrect (and alt="" on a non-decorative image is incorrect) alt text.
> It's a psychology question, not a technical one....  Have we considered 
> finding a psychology expert to ask?
> -Boris

Jan Richards, M.Sc.
User Interface Design Specialist
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC)
Faculty of Information Studies
University of Toronto

   Phone: 416-946-7060
   Fax:   416-971-2896

Received on Friday, 11 April 2008 20:32:00 UTC