Action54AltAttributeThirdDraft

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Action 54: Third Draft

Statement of Purpose

This document is the third draft deliverable for Action 54. It is bound to Issue 31: missing-alt. The action was created February 21, 2008 to:

"Work with SteveF to draft text for HTML 5 spec to require producers/authors to include @alt on img elements, assigned to Gregory Rosmaita".

The purpose of Action 54 is to comply with PF's official finding regarding "Omitting alt Attribute for Critical Content". The conclusion states, "...the failure of the HTML5 draft to make @alt on <img> an across-the-board requirement (even if sometimes it has the value of "") is a bug."

For more information and history consult the Tracker and its Change Log, Previous Action 54 Drafts, and History of the issue from August 2007 to date.

Note: Issue 31: missing-alt is currently open as to what to do when a reasonable text equivalent is unknown/unavailable.

Third Draft Text for the img Section of HTML 5:

  • The src attribute must be present, and must contain a URI (or IRI).
  • The alt attribute must present. (See Statement of Purpose)

Authoring Requirements

  • The accessibility requirements on the possible values of the alt attributes are defined by WCAG 2.0 and not HTML 5.

User Agent and Authoring Tool Requirements

  • For user agent accessibility guidelines consult UAAG.
  • For authoring tool accessibility guidelines consult ATAG.

Suggestions for WCAG, UAAG, and ATAG


Previous Action 54 Drafts

Use Case Examples

  • First Draft had examples whose purpose was to conform to WCAG per PF's advice.
  • Second Draft removed the examples and provided minimal advice whose purpose was to conform to WCAG per PF's advice.
  • No examples are listed in this third draft for ACTION 54.

Use case examples are left to WAI in this draft. It would let the domain experts handle their respective domains. For instance:

If there are use cases that are not addressed in their specs and documents, bring that up with WAI. Accessibility is WAI's domain. AUWG, UAWG, WCAGWG etc are chartered to set accessibility guidelines and HTML WG is not.

History of the Issue from August 2007 to Date

Action 54 Editors, Reviewers, Contributors:

  • Karl Dubost
  • Joshue O Connor
  • Laura Carlson
  • Steven Faulkner
  • Gez Lemon
  • Gregory Rosmaita

Special Thanks To: