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Re: Fwd: Flickr and alt

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 20:02:52 +0200
Message-ID: <48AB0ACC.3050900@malform.no>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
CC: Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>

Patrick H. Lauke 2008-08-19 00.52:

> Sam Kuper wrote:

> CMSs and authoring tools, in view, are a completely separate beast. In 
> my last email I noted how many users (myself included) don't user Flickr 
> so much as a publishing platform, but as an online extension of their 
> private photo collection, with the ability to share with known 
> individuals, friends, family. The use context is different. In the case 
> of CMSs used for publication to the wide web, I agree - and many more 
> sophisticated systems already do warn about empty alts - but users 
> should still be able to consciously leave alt empty, as otherwise 
> they'll simply enter some generic text ("photo", "image", "abc", "blah", 
> ...) if they're forced to enter metadata/alternatives.

I like these viewpoints, and the example in another letter about 
whether a table without header cells etc should validate at all, 
was well taken.

But how can we differentiate between public and private?

My thought is that the role="" attribute could play a -eh-  role 
here. One could have special requirements for the @alt, depending 
on its role="", basically.

If e.g. role="an-private-album-photo" had more relaxed rules, for 
instance that it said that the @alt /could/ be emtpy then, then it 
would be possible to fake validity by using that @role value e.g. 
in a government web site. (And the same would be possible by 
always using role="decorative".) However, it would then be simple 
to spot the fakery. And also, one would have better chances at 
developing a sound understanding of what "validity" means.

If we are to leave the whole issue of the @alt requirements to the 
WCAG specification(s), then all we need to do is to take the @role 
into HTML 5, and ask that authors use the @alt according to the 
requirements which the WCAG set forth for each role. Even defining 
the values of the @role attribute, could then be "outsourced". 
(Allthough I think that something should be said about how User 
Agents should handle e.g. <img alt="spacerimage" role="decorative" 
src="src" >.)

Btw, note that the current values of the @role attribute appear to 
be quite "dry". It seems to me that they are very "public", with 
very very little focus on e.g. the Flickr use case.
leif halvard silli
Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 18:03:41 UTC

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