[whatwg] Proposal for an addition to the authoring guidance regarding the alt attribute
ian at hixie.ch
Wed Aug 25 14:09:41 PDT 2010
On Tue, 3 Aug 2010, Markus Ernst wrote:
> Section 188.8.131.52.9 describes how alternative text for content images
> should be written:
(Note that the /TR/ copy is very out of date. I recommend using the
dev.w3.org copy or the whatwg.org/html5 copy.)
> Then, there is a general guideline about writing alternative texts in
> section 184.108.40.206.12: "A corollary to this is that the alt attribute's
> value should never contain text that could be considered the image's
> caption, title, or legend. It is supposed to contain replacement text
> that could be used by users instead of the image; it is not meant to
> supplement the image. The title attribute can be used for supplemental
> IMO the wording of 220.127.116.11.9 is somehow contradictive to the general
> guidance in two cases:
> 1. The image is the information itself, it does not convey any
> information beyond it's visuals. This is a very common case, for example
> in photo galleries. Unlike the examples given under "The general case"
> (where lack of the image is lack of information), the images in a
> wedding photo gallery cannot be described in a way that matches
> 18.104.22.168.12 and provides any useful information for e.g. a blind user.
Sure they can. It's certainly not easy or quick to do so, but it's
> The information "Me, Gary, and his parents eating the cake" is rather
> useful for those who actually see the image, and should go to the
> caption, as correctly stated in 22.214.171.124.12.
> 2. The image illustrates what is discussed in the surrounding text, or
> has a caption describing it. Inserting alt text would actually duplicate
> the information, but not convey anything useful for those who don't see
> the image. IMO alternative text should be omitted in this case (as e.g.
> Wikipedia does: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squirrel - the alt
> attribute values of all content images are empty).
That's "A graphical representation of some of the surrounding text", which
is an earlier section.
> So I propose to:
> - Explicitly treat these two cases in 126.96.36.199.9, requiring to insert no alt
> text there
On the contrary, alt text should be given for the first case. The second
case is already handled in a more specific section (and indeed requres
> - In the part "Images whose contents are not known", remove the word
> "unfortunate" at the beginning ("In some cases"), and the first note.
I disagree; it is unfortunate.
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
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