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Results of Questionnaire Call for Consensus: Text Alternatives

The results of this questionnaire are available to anybody.

This questionnaire was open from 2010-04-20 to 2010-04-22.

24 answers have been received.

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  1. ISSUE-31 missing alt

1. ISSUE-31 missing alt

Refer to HTML5 Change Proposal: Replace img Guidance for Conformance Checkers.

Further to discussion since the face-to-face meeting in the past couple weeks, this change proposal does include that a missing text alternative should be an error in conformance checkers. We expect the error text would reference additional guidance on text alternatives in WCAG support materials.

Do you support this as a decision of the task force? If no, please indicate what changes would enable you to support this.


ChoiceAll responders
Yes 21
No 2
Abstain 1


Responder ISSUE-31 missing altComments
Michael Cooper Yes
Laura Carlson Yes
Janina Sajka Yes
Steve Faulkner Yes
Gez Lemon Yes
Silvia Pfeiffer Yes
Philip Jägenstedt Abstain
aurélien levy Yes
Joshue O Connor Yes
Cynthia Shelly Yes
Gregory Rosmaita Yes
Sean Hayes Yes
Kelly Ford Yes
John Foliot Yes
Jim Allan Yes
Debi Orton Yes I agree with all the arguments put forth by the task force. The use of the alt attribute is embedded in many of the accessibility education efforts and arguably the most important of accommodations for those with visual impairments.
Marco Ranon Yes
Ben Caldwell Yes
Martin Kliehm Yes
Wendy Chisholm Yes
Eric Carlson Yes
Denis Boudreau Yes
Ian Hickson No It violates layering by making it possible for removal of ARIA to affect conformance, discourages use of semantic HTML by removing the allowance for using title="" for titles, and encourages longer markup than necessary by suggesting the use of role="presentation" to imply alt="" when alt="", which is shorter, already implies role="presentation".
David Singer No My personal comments

A) The replacement text falls far short of the editorial quality of the text it replaces.
B) Serious issue: Whether or not we say that authoring tools must generate conforming documents, anyone writing a tool would normally wish to and expect to, and may well be instructed to by their management. Being silent on the subject, as the replacement text is, will simply encourage the behavior of putting in 'nonce' values (e.g. alt="" or alt="<file-name>").
c) [Minor] one of the lines (the one about paragraphs) is already gone from the editor's draft at <http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#guidance-for-conformance-checkers>

More details on responses


The following persons have not answered the questionnaire:

  1. Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
  2. Liam Quin <liam@w3.org>
  3. Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex.ru>
  4. Philippe Le Hégaret <plh@w3.org>
  5. Paul Cotton <paul.cotton@outlook.com>
  6. David MacDonald <David100@sympatico.ca>
  7. Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
  8. Stefan Schnabel <stefan.schnabel@sap.com>
  9. Sally Cain <sally.cain@rnib.org.uk>
  10. David Bolter <dbolter@mozilla.com>
  11. Jean-Pierre EVAIN <evain@ebu.ch>
  12. Jatinder Mann <jmann@microsoft.com>
  13. Masatomo Kobayashi <mstm@jp.ibm.com>
  14. Bob Lund <b.lund@cablelabs.com>
  15. Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
  16. Suzanne Taylor <Suzanne.Taylor@pearson.com>
  17. Brian Kardell <hitchjs@gmail.com>
  18. Joseph Karr O'Connor <josephoconnor@mac.com>
  19. Joanmarie Diggs <jdiggs@igalia.com>

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