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Re: Investigating the proposed alt attribute recommendations in HTML 5

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2007 17:57:52 +0200
Message-Id: <p0624065fc2ff3769c7da@[192.168.0.101]>
To: public-html@w3.org

At 14:23 -0500 UTC, on 2007-08-31, Jon Barnett wrote:

> On 8/31/07, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no> wrote:
>>
>> On 2007-08-31 17:06:51 +0200 Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>:

[... confusion over relation between @alt and @title]

> Here's an example from the original post:
> <P class=StreamList><A
>       href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11994078@N04/1237874293/"><IMG
>       height=75 alt=Sgt.Pepper&amp;Robin2
>       src="files/1237874293_8dfcd0cbfe_t.jpg"
>       width=100></A><BR>From <A
>       href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11994078@N04/">pinktigger</A> </P>
>
> An aural UA might announce "Seargent Pepper and Robin-two from pinktigger"
>
> By following the semantics in the draft and replacing the image with
> the alternate text (and not announcing the presence of an image) the
> meaning is changed is changed in a confusing way. (What the hell is a
> Robin-two?)
>
> I suggested omitting @alt and using @title instead:
> <P class=StreamList><A title=Sgt.Pepper&amp;Robin2
>       href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11994078@N04/1237874293/"><IMG
>       height=75 src="files/1237874293_8dfcd0cbfe_t.jpg"
>       width=100></A><BR>From <A
>       href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11994078@N04/">pinktigger</A> </P>
>
> An aural UA might announce "[Embedded graphic titled Seargent Pepper
> and Robin-two] from pinktigger"

Right. But here the point is that the original alt text just isn't any good
-- it's not an equivalent. The only thing that @title has to do with this is
that it is *one* way the markup could have been authored better, as you show.
But instead of using @title, one could just as well improve the 'regular'
text alongthese lines:

<figure>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11994078@N04/1237874293/"><img
src="url"></a>
<legend>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11994078@N04/">pinktigger</a>'s cats,
Sgt.Pepper &amp; Robin2.
</legend>
</figure>

To be clear: I'm not saying this is better than your suggested use of @title.
I just mean to make clear that @title *as such* is irrelevant here.

> So if the UA falls back to @title in the case of no @alt,

That's a UA bug. @title should always be available. @alt only when that is
the author's wish, and not *instead* of @alt.

Sure, a UA may allow users to configure it such that it by default ignores
@title, and makes an exception when @allt is lacking. But that doesn't affect
how to author documents, nor does it indicate any relation between @title and
@alt.


-- 
Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Saturday, 1 September 2007 15:58:24 GMT

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