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Re: Guessing ALT text for product images that are generated automatically


From: Jared Smith
Date: Feb 28, 2011 8:00PM

On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 6:32 PM, Kerryn Sues wrote:

> The closest we can get is to *guess* the content of the image by the
> product title (e.g., ALT="Bali Holiday - 5 nights" or ALT="Bali") --
> we can't get as specific as ALT="Couple walking along a beach".

If this product title is already present within the page (maybe as an
image caption), then it probably not make sense to also add this as
the image alt attribute value as it would then be redundant and read
twice by screen readers.

It sounds like "closest we can get" is merely a reflection of
limitations of the current system. Certainly there must be a mechanism
for somebody to provide alternative text for such an image somehow,

> So is it preferable to make a best guess at the content of the image,
> or to leave it blank with ALT="" or ALT=" " (seeing as other text
> content within the page describes the image).

Best guess doesn't sound very good. If the content of the image is
conveyed in content, then give it alt="" (assuming it is not the only
thing inside a link, in which case it *must* be given alternative
text, even if it is redundant). Barring that, my first suggestion
would be to fix the system to allow appropriate, descriptive
alternative text.

Alt=" " (quote, space, quote) is never appropriate.