W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > March 1999

Re: ALT text

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 12:17:09 -0500
Message-Id: <199903131713.MAA53326@relay.interim.iamworld.net>
To: "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>, "jonathan chetwynd" <jay@peepo.com>, ssb22@cam.ac.uk
Cc: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
At 07:28 AM 3/13/99 -0500, Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
>Jonathan, Silas,
>I've been reviewing mail here and I think there might have been some
>messages which passed between the two of you without getting on the email
>list.  In particular, why is it useful to turn off ALT text?  I realize it
>has to do with the tags popping up.  But is that a problem because it's
>visually distracting or because it interferes with programs that read the
>screen with synthetic speech?  Or some other cause?

Jonathan can correct/clarify, but this is the impression I got.

We have the idiom "adding insult to injury."

In Sexual Harrassment law we have the concept of "creating a hostile work

The image I got combined these notions.

The _injury_ is, yes, un-helpful motion/change in the document.

The _insult_ is that the user interface persists in flashing _words_ at the
visitor who does not process words.  Imagine that for the blind browser,
[IMAGE] appeared not only when one encounters an inline, undocumented image
in the page, but also at random as the text is being read.

What I heard was that tooltips popping up words as the mouse roams the page
was perceived as creating a hostile environment by non-readers.

Killing the ALT text in the document is a workaround for killing the
tooltip popup in the browser.

This is how I understood the report.

Received on Saturday, 13 March 1999 12:14:05 UTC

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