[whatwg] Conformance for Mail clients (and maybe other WYSIWYG editors)
mjs at apple.com
Mon Apr 16 07:32:10 PDT 2007
On Apr 15, 2007, at 11:48 PM, Karl Dubost wrote:
> in a drag and drop scenario in your mail.app or other HTML
> authoring tool, you could imagine:
> | |
> | | the image itself
> | |
> | |
> | |
> | | <- here a dynamic text area popping up
> +------------------+ to edit the content.
> When the image is put in the window, a text is requested by the UI
> (a bit ala ajaxy flickr.)
> Then the markup could be generated.
I don't think this is workable for HTML-generating mail clients or
other tools for non-experts. You paste in an image and an area pops
up to edit text that won't actually be visible in the mail message.
This is likely to cause confusion and annoyance to users, and pretty
unlikely to lead to good quality alt text. People would either just
press enter, or type a description or caption (and then be annoyed
when it disappeared) instead of substitute text. Consider in
particular the case where you paste in a chunk of rich text content
containing multiple images.
Furthermore, alt text has a specific purpose, which is to make
content with images more meaningful on non-visual or strictly text-
only media, or for people with special accessibility needs, or for
indexing by data mining UAs like search engines. But when I shoot off
an email to my normally sighted GUI-using friend Bob, I know that
none of these really apply. So including alt text for the super-funny
kitten picture I just found on the net doesn't actually give any of
the benefits for which alt is intended.
Now, suppose I am writing to my visually impaired friend Mary who
uses a screen reader. In that case, I probably wouldn't send her an
image at all. And if I were sending mail to both Mary and Bob, I
might include an image and a visible description of it in the prose.
That's a more comprehensible model for users than alt text. But it
doesn't make an image like this semantically void.
Flickr is again pretty analogous here. It gives me dynamic text boxes
next to the image, but they edit the title and the caption. Adding
another one to edit the alt text would only confuse people, and would
be unlikely to lead to quality alt text.
I think it remains the case that for end-user generated content,
there will often be semantically meaningful images that are
meaningful in themselves and cannot be considered alternate
representations of some piece of text.
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