[whatwg] Missing alt attribute name bikeshedding (was Re: alt="" and the <meta name=generator> exception)

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Sun Aug 5 17:31:00 PDT 2012

On Aug 1, 2012, at 12:56 AM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:

> We briefly brainstormed some ideas on #whatwg earlier tonight, and one 
> name in particular that I think could work is the absurdly long
>   <img src="..." generator-unable-to-provide-required-alt="">
> This has several key characteristics that I think are good:
> - it's long, so people aren't going to want to type it out
> - it's long, so it will stick out in copy-and-paste scenarios
> - it's emminently searchable (long unique term) and so will likely lead 
>   to good documentation if it's adopted
> - the "generator" part implies that it's for use by generators, and may 
>   discourage authors from using it
> - the "unable" and "required" parts make it obvious that using this 
>   attribute is an act of last resort

Here's a review of other proposed names and a few new ideas:

    Pro: brief
    Con: not very explanatory, so perhaps more likely to be misused

relaxed [suggested by Ted]
    Pro: correctly conveys "relaxed validation"
    Con: not clear what is relaxed or why

incomplete [suggested by Laura]
    Pro: correctly conveys that a non-decorative content image is incomplete without a textual equivalent
    Con: not clear what is incomplete or why

    Pro: correctly conveys the reason for omitting alt, i.e. that the name is unknown to the generator
    Con: might not be clear that it is not for human authors

    Pro: correctly conveys intended generator use
    Con: not totally clear what it is that is unknown

I don't have a strong opinion, but I think generator-unable-to-provide-required-alt might be long to the point of silliness.


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