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Bug 13728 - on guidance for conformance checkers about text alternatives
Summary: on guidance for conformance checkers about text alternatives
Alias: None
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: LC1 HTML5 spec (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: PC All
: P2 normal
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: steve faulkner
QA Contact: HTML WG Bugzilla archive list
Keywords: a11y, a11ytf, a11y_text-alt
Depends on: 8171
Blocks: 13590
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2011-08-10 03:23 UTC by Michael[tm] Smith
Modified: 2014-01-31 16:13 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

See Also:


Description Michael[tm] Smith 2011-08-10 03:23:25 UTC

Guidance for conformance checkers

Allowing a conformance checker to allow images without alt attributes as
long as they have a title attribute are asking for trouble.  Already,
people assume that title and alt can serve the same purpose, and
although the spec explains the limited situations in which a title
attribute is acceptable, your average web-developer is not going to read
the specification.  We have not gotten web devs to reliably implement
alt attributes yet, allowing conformance checkers to pass an alt-free
img because it has a title attribute, or because the image has been
generated with certain tools, will only maintain the level of "but the
checker said it was fine" that we already have.  Images without alt
attributes should always be flagged. If exceptions need to be made for
the cases listed in the situations cited, those exceptions should be
made knowingly by a human being somewhere (webmaster, site maintainer,
etc.).  Also, with the advancing level of image recognition, there may
eventually be automatic ways of generating rudimentary alternative text
which could also count as rudimentary keyword generation for
categorizing online images.  Explicitly excusing a condition based on
current inconvenience and limitations seems short-sighted.

It would also be useful to have a way to view alternative text even if
images are not turned off, for users who would benefit from this

PS. The suggested alternative text for the image taken by the blind
photographer would seem to be inaccurate.  Hummingbird feeders do not
contain nuts and seeds, they contain sugar water, so whomever described
the picture as a hummingbird feeder has mislead the alt-text reader.

[split out from bug 13590]
Comment 1 Michael Cooper 2011-09-06 15:24:24 UTC
Bug triage sub-team thinks this is related to existing text alternatives work, so thinks is an HTML A11Y TF priority. Adding dependency to 8171 so when that master bug is addressed, this one can be addressed.
Comment 2 Ian 'Hixie' Hickson 2011-12-02 20:47:54 UTC
Henri, what do you intend to implement in your validator?
Comment 3 Ian 'Hixie' Hickson 2011-12-07 20:03:55 UTC
EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If you have additional information and would like the editor to reconsider, please reopen this bug. If you would like to escalate the issue to the full HTML Working Group, please add the TrackerRequest keyword to this bug, and suggest title and text for the tracker issue; or you may create a tracker issue yourself, if you are able to do so. For more details, see this document:

Status: Did Not Understand Request
Change Description: no spec change
Rationale: Need implementation feedback. In the absence of such feedback, the existing spec seems fine.
Comment 4 Mark Sadecki 2014-01-31 16:13:05 UTC
This bug has been overtaken and is no longer valid.  The HTML Accessibility TF resolved to close this bug on 30 Jan 2013: