[whatwg] Alt text authoring Re: Conformance for Mail clients

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Sun Apr 22 13:54:38 PDT 2007

On Apr 22, 2007, at 2:48 AM, Kornel Lesinski wrote:

> On Sun, 22 Apr 2007 01:26:55 +0100, Jon Barnett  
> <jonbarnett at gmail.com> wrote:
>> By "entirely omitted alt", do you still only mean WYSIWYG  
>> editors?  If not, I agree.  The distinction would be as follows:
>> (1) <img src="obvious.jpg" alt="obvious"> - This image represents  
>> text,
>> particularly the word "obvious".  Lynx should replace it with the  
>> word
>> "obvious" and do nothing else.
>> (2) <img src="gallery2.jpg">  The image is part of the content and  
>> doesn't represent text.  Lynx should indicate that the image is  
>> missing and offer a way to download it
> I'm a bit worried about this one - authors too often forget (or  
> don't care) to add alt attribute, and this case gives it a  
> different meaning.
> I think that for (2) there should be either magic alt value or some  
> way of specyfing that alt was intentionally omitted, and not  
> forgotten (special classname? presence of title attribute?).

How about:

<img src="gallery2.jpg" alt="">  -- image could be omitted without  
changing the meaning of the document (screen readers or text-only  
browsers could just skip it)
<img src="gallery2.jpg" noalt> -- image cannot be omitted without  
changing the meaning, but no text equivalent is available (screen  
readers or text-only browsers / mail clients should give some  
indication that an image is there)

I'm not sure I like that better than just omitting alt entirely, but  
I thought I'd throw it out there.


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