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re: Prompting Techniques

From: Marjolein Katsma <access@javawoman.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 09:48:52 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: Jan Richards <jan.richards@utoronto.ca>, "w3c-wai-au@w3.org" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>

One comment here (more of an explanation, actually), with reference to:
"3.1.2 Highlighting:
Conformance with Checkpoint 5.2 may be reinforced by visually highlighting accessibility features with colour, icons, underlining, etc. The following example, also from Allaire HomeSite, demonstrates how attention might be drawn more explicitly to an accessibility-related prompt field. In this case, the author did not add alt-text when they first inserted the image. As a result, the dialog contains symbols, colour changes and explanatory text that highlight the problem when the author opens the tag for editing later."

Actually, this dialog is shown in the initial state: the author is about to define a new IMG tag.
The asterisks indicate which attributes are required. In this case the asterisk for the ALT attribute is red (not the normal black) to indicate a difference between HTML 3.2 and HTML 4; because of course no information should be dependent on color alone, this is explained in an extra note.

The (VTML) dialog layouts themselves are static; the VTML language in which these are defined has no provision to conditionally show or not show symbols, for instance. The markers and explanatory text are always there.

Since there is (as yet) no way to "force" input of required attributes, the asterisks are used to draw attention to them; also, required attributes are _always_ written, whether they have been given a value or not; that way, the code produced is evidently "incomplete" (and a syntax checker would/should complain).
In this particular case, since ALT is not required in HTML 3.2 which is also supported by this dialog, an extra checkbox has been provided (by default in the "on" state) to write the ALT attribute even even empty (useful for images that are decorative, or spacers, for instance).

At 15:56 2000-04-14 -0400, Jan Richards wrote:
>New version with images from Microsoft (thanks Heather).
>Jan Richards
>Access Software Designer
>Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
>University of Toronto
>(416) 946-7060

Marjolein Katsma
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Received on Saturday, 15 April 2000 03:49:12 UTC

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