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Re: Add Example Explaining that Alt Text is Dependent Upon the Context

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 16:19:15 +0100
Message-ID: <46CDA573.8040302@cam.ac.uk>
To: "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, public-html@w3.org, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>

Philip Taylor (Webmaster) wrote:
> None the less, I prefer to defer to Gregory who
> can provide first-hand insight into whether
> "Australia" as ALT text might be sufficient in
> certain contexts, and -- if so -- how we might
> go about codifying those contexts so as to ensure
> that the specification leaves no doubt as to
> the context(s) in which such terse ALT text
> could justifiably be used.

Imagine context like this:

<p>Visit The XYZ Company's site for your country:</p>
<li><a href="uk.xyz.com"><img src="uk.png" alt="United Kingdom"></a>
<li><a href="us.xyz.com"><img src="us.png" alt="United States"></a>
<li><a href="au.xyz.com"><img src="au.png" alt="Australia"></a>

In this case it is strictly irrelevant what the image au.png depicts; it could 
be the word "Australia" written in the XYZ company's corporate typeface, it 
could be the Australian flag, it could be anything; the only important fact is 
that a sighted user with access to the images would identify it as the image 
corresponding to the choice for Australia. Therefore the role of the alt text, 
as an alternative to the image, is to allow a user without access to the image 
to make the same identification. The single word "Australia" is enough to 
fulfill this task; any more detail about the exact content of the image is 

"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Received on Thursday, 23 August 2007 15:19:30 UTC

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