[whatwg] Allow alt attribute with the span element

Jonathan Garbee jonathan at garbee.me
Fri Oct 6 08:23:28 PDT 2017

Is there a problem with using aria-label
<https://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/states_and_properties#aria-label> for this
use case? It seems like this should do exactly what you're asking for in
the given scenario.

On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 11:15 AM, Michael A. Peters <mpeters at domblogger.net>

> With images, the alt attribute can and should be used to give a
> description of an image for users who can not see the image.
> With text, some glyphs are pictographs that have a meaning. For example,
> U+1F502 is a pictograph indicating single loop, but it is meaningless if
> you can not see it.
> Even if screen readers can specify the codepoint and/or map the codepoint
> to a description (do they?) sometimes fonts define PUA codepoints for
> pictograph glyphs that are not official.
> A span element with a title attribute does not always solve this problem,
> sometimes the glyph is in a button element that has a title attribute
> describing what the button will do rather than the what the current state
> is.
> For example, a button may show a single loop indicating the media is
> currently in single loop mode but have a title attribute specifying that
> pressing it enables continuous loop mode.
> If there was an alt attribute on a span inside the button, screen readers
> could treat the span with a pictograph the same way it would treat an image
> child of a button attribute and describe the current pictograph to the end
> user.
> If there is already a solution to this issue, I apologize, I could not
> find one.
> We (er, WhatWG / W3C) could just add alt to the global attribute list too,
> rather than just span. Or come up with a semantic pictograph element
> specifically for this (just like we have tt and code).
> Thank you for opinions.

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