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

Re: Re: Guidelines Implementation

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 12:59:44 -0400
Message-Id: <199905211706.NAA22197@smtp-gw.vma.verio.net>
To: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, "Al Gilman" <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
> I believe that human consideration is always advisable for ALT="".  You
> can test for situations where it is definitely bad, but you can't test
> automatically for where it is good.

Very true.  It is not clear to me that conditional testing for ALT=""
inside A HREF will be very easy.  I certainly have a hard time stating this
rule simply.

> It seems to be the small differences that generate the most heat.
> This is one of those.

On the surface, missing ALT, ALT="", and ALT=" " all seem very similar.  It
is the behavior of Lynx (as I outline with my previous post) that makes the
distinction so important.

> After much digging I found what I believe to be the clearest statement
> of the conclusion that was reached on this topic in the GL group:
> <http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wai-gl-techniques-19980918.html#spacer-images>

Yeah, but take a look at how this has evolved in the CURRENT version of the

>> ALT=" " is permissible as an alternative.

It turns out that ALT=" " is NOT allowed!  I am (more than) a little
confused though, because the (depreciated) example then goes on to use
ALT="&nbsp;"!  Is &nbsp; being suggested as a work around when ALT=" " is
what is actually desired?  (This is contrary to the earlier version which
stressed that " " and "&nbsp;" were logically equivalent with regard to
CDATA attribute values!)
Received on Friday, 21 May 1999 13:05:56 UTC

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