[whatwg] Alt text authoring Re: Conformance for Mail clients (and maybe other WYSIWYG editors)

Charles McCathieNevile chaals at opera.com
Sat Apr 21 22:45:56 PDT 2007

On Thu, 19 Apr 2007 13:08:33 +0200, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:

> On Apr 19, 2007, at 3:47 AM, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

>>> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

>>>> I do think that for blogs or wikis where you are publishing to
>>>> the web audience at large, the editing tools should make it
>>>> possible and ideally
>>>> even easy to add alt text. Probably not a mail client though.
>> For the various reasons discussed in this thread, I cannot think of
>> a real justification for making a mail client that breaks one of
>> the basic accessibility features that people understand better than
>> most others. And I can think of plenty of reasons for not doing so.
> I can only imagine it being useful as an advanced feature for
> experts. Normal people won't understand why a mail program would
> prompt them to type in some text about an image, that will then not
> be visible to them or their recipient.

We may be closer to agreement than I think. To clarify, does this mean you agree that it should be possible, and ideally easy, to enter an alt text in a mail client, although you would suggest turning that option off by default?

As a default, I am happy if clients only get that far. Since "easy" is such a wollly term, it isn't far at all - it boils down to having some kind of interface for doing this that users can turn on. 

I think a mail client where you cannot entre alt text for an image is a serious accessibility problem. In various cases where good record-keeping is required, the role of accessibility becomes more important. I guess this is why the US government foramlly requires software to associate text alternatives with images - whe you are sending mail around the department of defense, for example, you may have no idea who will be required to read it in three months or three years.



  Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
  hablo español  -  je parle français  -  jeg lærer norsk
chaals at opera.com          Try Opera 9.1     http://opera.com

More information about the whatwg mailing list