[whatwg] alt="" and the <meta name=generator> exception

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Tue Jul 24 12:58:20 PDT 2012

2012-07-24 21:58, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Tue, 24 Jul 2012, Edward O'Connor wrote:
>> The spec currently disallows conformance checkers from reporting <img>
>> elements without alt="" attributes as an error when <meta
>> name=generator> is present[1].
> I've adjusted the text to make it clearer that validators can report the
> error in this case, just that they are discouraged from doing so.

This is an improvement, but I think Edward O'Connor's points still 
apply. Just saying that the page was generated by a generator has no 
logical relationship to the issue of alt texts.

I think it would be better to keep the alt attribute always required but 
recommend that conformance checkers have an option of switching off 
errors related to this, due to situations where automatically generated 
markup contains a large number of img elements without alt attributes. 
Such situations can be *understandable* for practical reasons, but this 
does not make the markup good and recommendable.

Making alt required is good policy, and making it always required keeps 
things simple and understandable. There are cases where documents 
inevitably deviate from a specification, in a manner that causes some 
trouble without causing serious trouble in *most* browsing situations. 
Therefore conformance checkers should be configurable, in issues like this.


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