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Re: [check 7] ALT text can't be empty (null or all spaces) if image is used as an anchor

From: Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 09:51:01 -0500
Message-ID: <01d201c41666$6b8b8f00$b040968e@WILDDOG>
To: "Michael Cooper" <michaelc@watchfire.com>, <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>

Thanks for the update. Sounds like this requirement should appear in the
next draft.

This has got me thinking that check #7 [1] is not quite right. What we
really want is simply that an anchor must contain some text. An image used
in an anchor can have empty ALT text as long as there is a text equivalent
somewhere (ALT, TITLE or link text).

The different placements of text have different meaning, semantically and in
terms of specification purpose. But does this make much of a practical
difference to the user? If link text is present, do we need another check to
make sure it's put in the proper place?

[1] http://checker.atrc.utoronto.ca/servlet/ShowCheck?check=7&lang=eng


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Cooper" <michaelc@watchfire.com>
To: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 5:03 PM
Subject: RE: [check 7] ALT text can't be empty (null or all spaces) if ima
ge is used as an anchor

> I think you've got your finger on a problem with the techniques and
> guidelines. The HTML techniques provide a few techniques designed to
> null link text, but none of them say in so many words that's the
> I think we decided to move some of that to the Gateway techniques, which
> would describe the general case of hyperlinks independent of technology.
> that isn't in the current draft of the Gateway either. Also, when we
> HTML techniques to WCAG 2.0 I think link text was one of the holes, where
> didn't seem the guidelines spoke clearly enough about.
> My personal perspective is that hyperlinks should never have null link
> How you achieve the link text, from text or image alt text inside the
> doesn't matter, but it needs to be present. There should be a guideline
> says so in so many words (along with forbidding meaningless link text).
> Gateway techniques would probably expound on that, and the HTML techniques
> would cover the cases Chris has been describing - various combinations of
> images (with and without alt text) and text inside links.
> Michael
Received on Tuesday, 30 March 2004 09:54:55 UTC

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