[html4all] 5 gears in reverse - anne v k enters the alt attribute debate
faulkner.steve at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 04:37:26 PDT 2007
Anne has done a post on the alt attribute
It is interesting to note what he writes:
"I am currently following HTML5 (omitting alt) as it wasn't really clear to
me what would be a better solution given the single constraint I have: not
finding it necessary to provide replacement text for all those images. This
would take too much time for little benefit."
His statement appears to widen the debate and put forward what i have
suspected is one of the key motivations for making the alt attribute
optional, namely where an author does not *find it necessary* to make the
He also misrepresents the meaning of alt="" :
"it tells the user agent that the image means *nothing*. Nothing at all."
when it can mean
a. the image has no meaning (e.g. spacer gif)
b. is decorative
c. has meaning, but the meaning is provided by text elsewhere in the
he also misunderstands how AT UA's treat images without alt
attributes, generally by default (unless the image is the sole content of a
link) they treat them the same as alt="", that is they ignore them.
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium
www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Web Accessibility Toolbar -
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