W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > June 2007

the fallicy of the term "fallback content"

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:23:16 -0400
To: public-html@w3.org
Cc: wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-Id: <20070625161244.M67300@hicom.net>

aloha, all -- there is a recurring term that keeps resurfacing on 
he HTML WG's discussions as regards graphical images:

fallback content

remember that one person's fallback content, is another's (in this 
case, my) primary content...

i understand that fallback content is also used by those whose 
software or hardware or connection will not allow the rendering 
of images, and therefore he or she can fall back on the rich 
content to obtain equivalent information about the unsupported 
image type, but in this case, as well, it isn't really a true 
fallback -- from the user's perspective, it's primary content...

besides, it should be up to the user how the longdesc should be 
rendered -- i've suggested a setting that would replace the 
image with the contents of a longdesc, in a sidebar, in an IFrame
(shudder), and so on.  

and what of those whose visual acuity is in decline, or when 
a user encounters what he or she perceives as a blurry image -- 
these users, too, need the rich content longdesc can describe, 
but may also want to read the context and description in 
parallell, in order to make sense of the image being 


LANGUAGE, n.  The music with which we charm the serpents guarding 
another's treasure.     -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
            Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
     Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
UBATS: United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org
Received on Monday, 25 June 2007 16:23:30 UTC

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