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Re: ToolTips: bug or feature?

From: Jon Barnett <jonbarnett@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 22:10:37 -0500
Message-ID: <bde87dd20707292010v611fa00bs7cfcfbfa305bc7ae@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
Cc: "Lachlan Hunt" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, public-html@w3.org, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org

On 7/29/07, Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net> wrote:
> lachlan wrote, quote:
> > 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
> unquote
> i find hixie's arguments, decidedly unconvincing.

In your replies here I didn't see much refutation of his arguments,
just dismissal of them.

The two key points I see are (2) and (8) on Hixie's list.

Providing @alt as a tooltip encourages authors to only write @alt
attributes that make sense as tooltips and don't make sense as
alternate text for an image.  A budding developer who tests primarily
with MSIE may use @alt attributes in a way that would be confusing to
someone who was reading it as alternate text.  It also encourages
authors to use the exact same text for @alt and @title, even which the
two serve different purposes.

Also, authors who don't want @alt to appear as a tooltip are omitting
@alt altogether.

Also, his (4)th point was also valid:  in <a title><img alt></a> the
@title text becomes invisible to IE users when it was intended as a
tooltip and the @alt attribute get incorrectly used as a tooltip

Do you have a specific problem with any of these points instead of
dismissing them?

Jon Barnett
Received on Monday, 30 July 2007 03:10:47 UTC

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