Don't force users to type in alternate text when inserting an image

NEW
Unassigned

Status

SeaMonkey
Composer
16 years ago
6 years ago

People

(Reporter: Blake Ross, Unassigned)

Tracking

({access})

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

16 years ago
We currently make users type in alternate text when inserting an image into msg
compose, or choose "Don't enter alternate text".  Nobody knows what alternate
text is, and nobody cares!  It's absurd enough that editor does this, but msg
compose shouldn't.
(Reporter)

Comment 1

16 years ago
Or it should at least remember your radiobutton selection.

Comment 2

16 years ago
I disagree that nobody knows what "alternative text" is. Some of those with
really slow connections, and some of those covered by the "Americans With
Disabilities Act" know all about alt text. Oh, and those who work on Federal and
State web pages know all about it due to a Federal mandate. (Section 508 or
something).

However, maybe this function should be in prefs somewhere rather than a radio
button on a pop-up box.

Comment 3

16 years ago
w3 cares, and the usg cares.

i seem to recall a lawsuit against AOL wrt accessibility, are you sureyou want 
to encourage it?
Keywords: sec508

Comment 4

16 years ago
This should be a WONTFIX. ALT text is necessary for accessibility.

Comment 5

16 years ago
I will disagree with "WONTFIX". Section 508 only applies to the USA, and has no
meaning or jurisdiction in other countries of the world. That is why I suggested
the pref option, as that way web authors in other countries can easily avoid US
regulations.

Comment 6

16 years ago
sure sec508 is a US statute, but there are *two* groups who wrote opinions 
saying that alt should be mandatory. That second group, w3, is not a US bound 
body. If you're generating HTML, you're supposed to generate correct HTML, and 
correct HTML (according to the w3) has alt tags for ALL images.
-->editor
Assignee: ducarroz → syd
Component: Composition → Editor: Composer
Product: MailNews → Browser
QA Contact: esther → sujay

Comment 8

16 years ago
Hmmm, I see where you are heading (I hope).

As mozilla insists of valid HTML to render a page, then Composer should insist
on creating valid HTML. And, from looking at the HTML 4.01 spec, ALT is required.

As I tend to agree with mozilla insisting on valid HTML, then I'm just going to
have to accept that Composer must create valid HTML. In that case, the option to
not have ALT text should be removed.

Comment 9

16 years ago
Mail gets this from Editor. Adding Charlie.

Comment 10

16 years ago
Maybe the default could be to require Alt text, but as blake suggested, to 
remember if the user changes the radio button?

Comment 11

16 years ago
Why don't you just get rid of the radio button? When someone doesn't want alt 
text, they can just leave the field blank.

> In that case, the option to not have ALT text should be removed.

The option to not have alt text sets the alt text to the empty string: alt="".
(Reporter)

Comment 12

16 years ago
The suggestion in comment 11 sounds great to me.

Comment 13

16 years ago
Hmmmm, alt="" meets the W3C spec AFAIK, but I get the feeling that it doesn't
meet the spirit of the rule.

Comment 14

16 years ago
> Hmmmm, alt="" meets the W3C spec AFAIK, but I get the feeling that it doesn't
> meet the spirit of the rule.

It really depends on the image. Sometimes the empty string is the most 
appropriate alternative to an image:

http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#h-13.8

That being said, there should be a short explanation added if the alert box is 
taken out. Something like "Alternate text is displayed when the browser cannot 
display the image."

CCing Hixie, since he knows more about this than I do.
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Hardware: PC → All
Well, I'd have thought a semi-reasonable UI would be something along the lines 
of the more educational:

   [[ FILE PICKER HERE ]]

   ( ) Use alternate text that conveys the same meaning as the image, for users 
       who have disabled images: [__________________________________________|V]
   (o) Image is purely decorative
                                                        (( Insert )) ( Cancel )

However, I don't really see why we would bother with even suggesting it if you
are writing HTML e-mail. People who are writing e-mails are _not_ likely to be
very receptive to learning about accessibility issues. They know who the
recipient is, and can thus act accordingly (they wouldn't send an image to
someone who can't view them). If they don't know who the recipient is, e.g. on a
mailing list, they shouldn't be sending the message in HTML format anyway.
> They know who the recipient is

This is so false.... We use internally at Netscape almost only HTML email, as
almost all the companies around the world do. We send mail to mailing-lists and
we don't know all recipients. Some recipients could be blind, and I'll never
know.

Comment 17

16 years ago
Adding "access" keyword as this bug is about NOT "making Mozilla accessible to
users with disabilities and special needs".
Keywords: access

Comment 18

16 years ago
The most we would probably consider is to have a pref so that the default state
is "Don't use alternate text".
Assignee: syd → cmanske

Comment 19

16 years ago
> The most we would probably consider is to have a pref

That's absurd. Who would look for a pref for the default radio selection on a 
minor dialog? Just remember the last selection, as Blake suggested.

I also suggest that one adopts something like Hixie's wording. Maybe

    () Use alternate text to to replace image when it cannot be displayed:
       [_____________________________________________________]
    () Alternate text is inappropriate because image is purely decorative.

Comment 20

15 years ago
FWIW, I think we should keep the form as-is, but change the alert. If 
'alternate text' is selected but empty - rather than the current alert (hit
'ok' and return to dialogue), have a choice between 'Leave empty' or 'Add
alternate text' (which goes back to the dialogue). There could be a
'don't show this dialogue again' checkbox as well.

re comment 5: There is an approximate UK equivalent to Section 508 - the
Disability Discrimination Act
http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1995/1995050.htm

Comment 21

15 years ago
This is a very annoying feature of the user interface.  I added a vote...

Comment 22

15 years ago
PLEASE PLEASE make alternate text visible as bubble help when moving mouse over
image. Lots of pages seems to use menu images which doesn't really tell what's
behind them but they have alternate text...
Robert: Alt text is supposed to replace the image as inline text. See (but
please don't respond to) the discussion on bug 25537

I opened a bug about accessibility and a middle ground.
Bug 230064 - ALT text should be displayed as tooltip when TITLE is not available

>Why don't you just get rid of the radio button? When someone doesn't want alt 
>text, they can just leave the field blank.

I agree we just accept an empty string as ALT text and always insert it,
removing the radio button. The message that pops up can have a checkbox to not
see it again.

Another possibility is we could insert the name of the image (minus the
extension) in the ALT field. This would be great for browsers like Lynx.
> Another possibility is we could insert the name of the image (minus the
> extension) in the ALT field. This would be great for browsers like Lynx.

Actually it would be horrible for browsers like Lynx.

Why would a browser like lynx_icon Lynx want to have the extensions of the
images sprinkled throughout the text? demo_scrnsht027

Comment 25

14 years ago
Some of you guys sound just the Government!  "We know what is best for you and
we are going to MAKE YOU DO IT even if you hate it!"

Alternate text option is a nice idea.  But when I make webpages, the pictures
are essential and without them you may as well forget the whole page.  It makes
sense to me to HAVE alternate text for those who need it but for God's Sake,
please let the alternate text YES/NO <REMEMBER> the user's last input and make
that the default for the next image input selection!

Purists of all stripes get in the way of real progress!

 

Updated

14 years ago
Keywords: sec508
Product: Browser → Seamonkey

Comment 26

12 years ago
This bug should be fixed!! The clunky user interfaces adds additional confusing steps to what should be a simple process of inserting images into e-mails.

The bottom line for me is that I send images of things to my family in e-mail and I am never going to bother with setting alternate text so please save me time and find a way to never have to bother with that junk again.

I cannot imagine how this basic bug hasn't been fixed in 3.5 years--it must be that the developers don't use the insert image feature.
Assignee: cmanske → nobody
QA Contact: sujay → composer

Comment 27

7 years ago
Please allow users to opt-out of the warning message. I used Composer with a AutoScriptWriter script to add and resize images to html files to be distributed via cd to people that went on the same tour of italy that my wife and I went on. It worked fine with seamonkey 1 but seamonkey 2 has broken it and I can not find a way to script around the stupid warning message that I do not need for my application. 

Also, please provide a way to launch composer without launching seamonkey.

Updated

6 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 638761

Updated

6 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 531540
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