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Re: conflation of issues or convergence of interests?

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 02:38:50 +0200
Message-Id: <p06240615c2d2daeeec56@[192.168.0.101]>
To: public-html@w3.org

At 10:47 +0100 UTC, on 2007-07-29, Philip Taylor (Webmaster) wrote:

> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>>
>> Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>>> alt is VERY easily available to those who can see an image -- in most
>>> GUI implementations, @title and @alt are rendered as ToolTips onMouseOver
>>
>> The alt attribute is only rendered as a tooltip in IE, and that's
>> considered a bug for a variety of reasons. See this article.
>>
>> http://hixie.ch/advocacy/alt-tooltips

Indeed.

> Maybe consider instead the views of those
> who understand the need for accessibility :
>
>
><http://www.rnib.org.uk/wacblog/articles/too-much-accessibility/too-much-accessibility-title-attributes/>

Sorry, but the author doesn't at all sound like someone who understands what
he's talking about. Some quotes:

"Keyboard only users: would never see the TITLE content, because the
"tooltip" is activated only by mouse hover."

Nothing to do with @title whatsoever. This is a UA issue. (The UA should
allow access to @title, period. The HTML spec doesn't require mice, nor that
@title be presented as tooltip. Or, the user can choose to not care about
@title.)

"Most screen reader users: wouldn't hear it, unless they set their settings
to do so. This would be at the expense of the ALT attribute, as two
"tooltips" can't be read at the same time. [...]"

Nothing to do with @title. This is a UA issue. (The HTML spec doesn't require
@alt or @title to be presented as tooltips. If Tooltips break @alt and
@title, then the problem is with the UA using an inappropriate mechanism and
thus not complying with the spec.)

"Other screen reader users: notably those designed for people with low
vision, as opposed to no vision, may support the TITLE attribute on links,
but will also read the link text. On images they read the ALT attribute only.
These readers often also read portions of text "on hover", which is handy for
locating required information without literally having to navigate to that
part of the page. But if a TITLE attribute exists in the hover region it will
be read instead of the visible text"

Nothing to do with @title, but with UAs. (The UA should be configurable to
disable tooltips, or provide a mechanism other than "hover" to activate them,
or privide another means then tooltips to access @title)

"Screen magnification users: would have their access to information in an
image's ALT attribute blocked by a TITLE attribute, especially, a null one."

Empty title attributes are author mistakes (and should be warned for by HTML
checkers). I don't see the relevance to @title as specced. UAs should provide
access to both @alt and @title. Thus again, a UA problem, nothing to do with
@title.

"People with dyslexia: often prefer not to have "tooltips" popping up, as
they can be a serious distraction to the process of reading the text. If they
have moved to a standards compliant browser to get away from the ALT
attribute popping up in Internet Explorer, imagine how delighted they might
be to find a site that has more TITLE "tooltips" than a leopard has spots."

Moving from one broken UA to another broken UA is useless and claiming that
the problem is with @title is harmfull. If the author really cares about
those users, he should advise them to get a better UA. The only real problem
noted here is that UAs need to allow users to present tooltips in a way that
works for them instead of hinders them.

Ah, I see in the comments that Joe Clark notes the same:
<http://www.rnib.org.uk/wacblog/articles/too-much-accessibility/too-much-accessibility-title-attributes/#comment-24259>


-- 
Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Monday, 30 July 2007 00:40:02 GMT

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