W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2008

Re: Images and alternative text

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 23:02:09 -0400
Message-ID: <48A24EB1.20403@mit.edu>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
CC: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> Btw, saying that the code is TeX would not help me understand it (though 
> it could help the UA).

Sure, but there are plenty of people whom it would in fact help (at 
least more than saying nothing).

> It only meant that I could find a method to 
> understand it. Wheras uncommon words does not have this problem. I know 
> that it is a word. And I know several ways to learn words.

I don't see how that's different, honestly.  A lot of "words" (most 
technical terminology, say) aren't covered by the common ways to learn 
words.  I fact, finding information on TeX is significantly easier, in 
my experience, than finding information on various math terminology.

This is not to say that the "TeX in alt" case is particularly 
accessible.  It's just better than nothing, and widely used.

> The similarities are these: When @alt is lacking, one must apply the 
> heuristics directly on the image. When the @alt contains TeX, one must 
> guess what the source code contains (or remain baffled).

You're assuming the UA needs to understand what's going on.  The 
audience is really key here.  Using TeX as alt text in an article aimed 
at a general audience is not a good idea at all.  Using it in an article 
aimed at mathematicians isn't so bad, perhaps.

-Boris
Received on Wednesday, 13 August 2008 03:02:58 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:16:21 GMT