[whatwg] Alt attribute for <video> and <audio>

Remco remco47 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 03:52:38 PDT 2009

On Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 10:57 AM, Philip Jägenstedt<philipj at opera.com> wrote:
> Before suggesting any changes to the <source> element, make sure you have
> read
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/video.html#concept-media-load-algorithm
> Put simply, the handling of <source> is already quite complex, overloading
> it with completely different meanings is not a good idea. <video> won't
> handle "text/html" as a source, but if you want different media files for
> different audiences I suggest experimenting with <source media>.

<source media> doesn't do anything useful for my case. It can't load
textual data. Also, if the resources are unavailable, there will be
nothing to see, since all resources are off-page. It also doesn't work
for iframe, object, embed or img.

Is it really the idea that the only way you're going to have
alternative textual content, is to Build It Yourself? You have to
abuse <details> or a hidden <div> with some Javascript to build a
construction that has alternative content in case the
video/audio/iframe/object/embed is not available or desirable. If you
want it to be semantically accessible, you even have to build another
layer on top of that, in the form of ARIA attributes.

Nobody will do that. Even the <source> solution is harder, maybe too
hard, to use than the alt="" solution. It requires authors to create
additional elements or pages to house the alternative content. Since
accessibility is often an afterthought, about the most an author will
be willing to do, is filling in an alt attribute.


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