WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Investigating theproposedaltattributerecommendationsin HTML 5


From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Aug 30, 2007 9:10PM

> > To me this is attempting to make a rule for developers to abide by.
> > This is effectively saying "when alt is needed and not
> available don't
> > put null alt just to pass the validator".
> Instead, "...the alt attribute may be omitted..." - Andrew,
> how can this be of any benefit to accessibility concerns?

My point is that I don't think that it is causing harm.

> > This is in fact
> > pretty interesting. AT already applies heuristics to guess at the
> > appropriate representation for the image, but not _image_
> heuristics.
> > This would be
> > nice, but we're not there yet.
> Precisely, thus it is the responsibility of the developer to
> bridge the gap, and one simple way is to provide the
> alternative text. Otherwise, currently, the heuristic result
> often ends up being "34598_6352.jpg".

Please find a place where I have ever said that alt on an image that is
linked or that represents real content shouldn't have an alt attribute
and a good value.

> Providing the option of omitting alt text will be used as a
> "Free Pass" by some, and they will point to the spec and say
> that it's allowed. It's the thin edge of the wedge.

No more than currently just put alt="" though.