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HTML Action Item 54 - ...draft text for HTML 5 spec to require producers/authors to include @alt on img elements.

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 16:28:27 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80805080828y1ae4304bn326999393d22288e@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org
Cc: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "Chris Wilson" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>

Dear HTML WG members,

The first draft of our rewrite of major sections of 3.12.2 "The img
element" in the HTML5 draft is now available:


This is the deliverable for HTML Issue tracker - Action item 54 [1]

This work is intended to be complimentary to the existing
specification and is written to some degree as a gap analysis of
previous iterations of the draft. This task was undertaken by Steve
Faulkner, Laura Carlson and Joshue O Connor who have expertise in the
field of web accessibility. It has been reviewed by Gez Lemon and
Gregory J. Rosmaita, who both have solid and vast knowledge of WCAG
2.0 and are or have been members of the WCAG WG.

The draft text is based on the February 6, 2008 PFWG advice that the HTMLWG:

 "...re-work the <img> element section to bring it into line as
 techniques for implementing WCAG 2.0. We say 2.0 because of the strong
 likelihood that WCAG 2.0 will precede HTML5 to Recommendation status.

 WCAG WG is chartered to set Accessibility guidelines and HTML WG is
 not; so HTML5 should be careful to create features that support WCAG
 and describe their use in ways that conform to WCAG."

 The aim of this draft is therefore to comply with WCAG 2.0, Guideline
1.1. Text Alternatives:

 "Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be
changed into other forms people need, such as large print, Braille,
speech, symbols or simpler language..."

 Further PFWG advice has been sought, is needed, and is pending
regarding related items as detailed in the draft. Please note that
this document does not attempt to address the issue of what an
authoring or publishing tool should insert, in a case where no alt has
been provided by the author, but the image is known to be "critical
content". That too is awaiting PFWG advice.

We trust that this document will be beneficial and a positive
contribution to the development of the HTML 5 specification.


Steve Faulkner
Laura Carlson
Joshue O Connor

[1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/actions/54
Received on Thursday, 8 May 2008 15:29:01 UTC

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