[whatwg] Allow alt attribute with the span element
Michael A. Peters
mpeters at domblogger.net
Fri Oct 6 08:15:47 PDT 2017
With images, the alt attribute can and should be used to give a
description of an image for users who can not see the image.
With text, some glyphs are pictographs that have a meaning. For example,
U+1F502 is a pictograph indicating single loop, but it is meaningless if
you can not see it.
Even if screen readers can specify the codepoint and/or map the
codepoint to a description (do they?) sometimes fonts define PUA
codepoints for pictograph glyphs that are not official.
A span element with a title attribute does not always solve this
problem, sometimes the glyph is in a button element that has a title
attribute describing what the button will do rather than the what the
current state is.
For example, a button may show a single loop indicating the media is
currently in single loop mode but have a title attribute specifying that
pressing it enables continuous loop mode.
If there was an alt attribute on a span inside the button, screen
readers could treat the span with a pictograph the same way it would
treat an image child of a button attribute and describe the current
pictograph to the end user.
If there is already a solution to this issue, I apologize, I could not
We (er, WhatWG / W3C) could just add alt to the global attribute list
too, rather than just span. Or come up with a semantic pictograph
element specifically for this (just like we have tt and code).
Thank you for opinions.
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