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Re: Improving alt (was handling fallback content for still images)

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 22:31:01 +0200
Message-Id: <p0624060bc2b449662ab1@[192.168.0.102]>
To: <public-html@w3.org>

At 15:53 -0500 UTC, on 2007-07-05, Robert Burns wrote:

> <x-flowed>
>
> On Jul 5, 2007, at 1:11 PM, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
>
>> I think whether all UAs support alt is debatable. Test case:
>> <http://santek.no-ip.org/~st/tests/altlength/>.

[...]

> I like this proposal.

Thanks. I added it to the wiki:
<http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/LongdescRetention#line-40> and
<http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/LongdescRetention#head-ef01c5377a967ead313aeecea431de086517670a>

> We definitely need to provide clearer
> prescribed behavior for UAs: especially visual UAs. I wonder if this
> should be extended to provide a mechanism for full fallback content
> as well.

Well, I mentioned longdesc in purpose in this proposal. Basically just
emphasizing what HTML 4.01 already says: alt is for short textual
alternatives, longdesc for long ones.

[...]

> I present this example because I'm wondering whether we need @alt in
> addition to @title?

We do (as long as we're stuck with img). @alt and @title have very different
semantics.

Don't let yourself be fooled by the unfortunate current situation that most
popular UAs present both through the exact same mechanism. That's just an
implementation mistake. Even amongst the specialists in this WG it causes a
lot of confusion, so it's obvious that this needs to be fixed -- that the
spec will have to require that UAs present @alt different from @title.

> Does it provide something necessary that longdesc
> does not.

Yes. Both @alt and @longdesc are about *alternatives*  to the image. @title
is for a certain type of *additional* information.


-- 
Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Friday, 6 July 2007 20:33:08 GMT

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