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

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 21:07:43 +0200
Message-Id: <p0624063ec2c01519ce25@[]>
To: public-html@w3.org

At 16:45 +0900 UTC, on 2007-07-15, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> On Sun, 15 Jul 2007 06:29:13 +0900, Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl> wrote:
>> What about this then:
>> - Authors must use no more than n characters as the value of the alt
>> attribute. For longer alternatives authors must use longdesc.
> I don't think this makes sense, because as already noted there isn't some
> magic number of characters that is useful. Take into account the fact that
> some languages require far more characters for the same power of
> expression and you are walking into the trap of choosing bad alternatives.

Yes, very true. But there already *is* a threshold today
<http://santek.no-ip.org/~st/tests/altlength/>. If your language needs twice
as many characters as another, today that just means that you're twice as
likely to have the tooltip disappear before you've read its contents.

So yes, the problem you point out exists, but I don't see how what I propose
makes it worse. On the contrary, being more clear about what is meant with
"short" and "long" makes it easier for authors and UA implementors to auhor
and implement @alt better.

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Sunday, 15 July 2007 19:17:19 UTC

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