On 10 Sep 2007, at 1:24 AM, Hassan Schroeder wrote:

Perhaps then you (or anyone adhering to this view) can supply, as
an example, a useful description of the cited Rothko? Or maybe one
of Jackson Pollock's works? ('No. 5, 1948' might be good)

And since art is often intended to prompt an emotional reaction on
the part of the audience, write that description so the audience
has an opportunity to connect emotionally with the described work
without putting your own bias into it...

Ready, set, go! :-)

Thanks to Rahul for looking at the issue; he's saved me some time. Of course it's possible to describe even an abstract painting. It may, as I said, take a thousand words, or an essay, or even a whole book - but it can be done. We have this thing called language that makes it possible. Whether or not the description is useful is subjective. Georg: "...the importance of anything on a web page depends entirely on the individual visitor's interests at the time of visit."

As for your second paragraph: you miss the point. My job in describing a painting, or a photograph, to a blind person is *not* to convey any emotional response that I might have to the image. It's actually imperative that I *don't* include any bias. Any emotional response possible should be the reader's, not the writer's; I would never presume to tell a blind person how or what to think. I reiterate: they're blind, not brain-dead.


> I'm not saying we shouldn't provide /some/ "data", I'm saying that
> some people are trivializing the difficulty of creating *useful* and
> *relevant* alt text for complex images, especially those intended to
> convey *emotion* rather than simply "information".

Exactly. Good alt text is not trivial, and it's not easy, when the image/s are complex and/or conceptual. But an attitude of 'it's too hard, leave it out' is just plain lazy.

To get back to the original topic of this thread; Georg again: "... the main (original) issue here is about making the 'alt attribute' itself optional _in_ a future specification." Sure, make it optional. Then those who can't be bothered writing alt text, or lack the skill to, don't have to. Their sites won't provide as rich an experience for blind visitors as they might, but hey - they conform to the spec, so they must be OK, right?

And, Bob - "I refuse to carry this conversation any further, as it has degenerated into a nit-picking excercise. At least, one person has the sense/experience to know what I'm talking about. I notice that no-one has taken up the challenge of providing an emotional alt tag..."

Pulling out of a conversation just because people disagree with you is a cop-out. As for for 'emotional alt tags' - don't even try. It's not your job; see above.

omnivision. websight.

List Guidelines: http://webstandardsgroup.org/mail/guidelines.cfm
Unsubscribe: http://webstandardsgroup.org/join/unsubscribe.cfm

Reply via email to