W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > January 2000

Re: null alt-text, spacers, etc. etc.

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2000 12:27:01 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: love26@gorge.net, w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
I very strongly disagree with the opinion that

>Lots of expressed wants (particularly by newbies) should
>be ignored IMHO, particularly when they have to do with "wanting the
>same information as sighted colleagues get" in relation to what colors
>are in the rainbow stripe used for <HR>, etc. "Bullet" should be easy to
>do with "earcons".

We shouldn't ignore these wants.  Instead, we should design pages to 
satisfy the needs of newbies and experienced people.

Furthermore, in my mini survey,

which turned out to be of experienced people, there was a lot of support 
for literal descriptions.  An in subsequent conversations as well.  For 
example, I've heard from a parent who wanted to know what his sighted child 
was seeing on the screen so he could talk about it with her.  Another 
person said he didn't want any sighted person deciding what he couldn't 
see.  Another said "Just like descriptive video service, tell it like it is 
and let me interpret it for myself. "

Now, that was done before LONGDESC.  By properly using ALT text and 
LONGDESC we can  even better satisfy people of differing tastes.

We can take this further by writing LONGDESC in "newspaper" style with most 
salient stuff at the beginning and getting to the less interesting 
stuff.  If the user as a quick way to skip the rest of the LONGDESC at any 
time she or he can get the amount of detail preferred.

As far as I'm concerned, we give people what they want on a web page, 
period, unless it's simply not reasonable.   Bytes are cheap.


Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University
423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122


(215) 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Thursday, 6 January 2000 12:25:06 UTC

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