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Re: alt-text authoring guidelines

From: Alan J. Flavell <flavell@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 13:28:37 +0100 (BST)
To: dd@w3.org
cc: WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.96.980410130331.5106B-100000@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
On Fri, 10 Apr 1998, Daniel Dardailler wrote:

> DD:: I think "XYZ Logo" is the function of the graphic:

There's no general answer to that kind of question - one needs to
consider the logo in context, and to know why it's there, IMHO. 
Actually, only the author can know that, but as outside observers we
can draw conclusions.

You may feel that there is a fine distinction between "being a logo" 
and "identifying a company".  My feeling is that most logos are put
onto web pages in order to perform the latter function, but you say
you feel otherwise, if I understand you right.

If you're a manufacturer of logos then logos are your content, and
"XYZ Logo" is an exhibit of your work.  No problem with that. 

If the logo is doing the job of identifying your XYZ company, then ALT
texts such as ALT="XYZ Company", ALT="Welcome to XYZ Company", and
ALT="" (and many other variations) could, it seems to me, all be
appropriate in different situations, depending on what other
identification is present on the page - in other words, depending on
what is the function of the logo, why the author put it there.

But unless the content of the logo itself is germane to its presence
on the web page (which is, IMHO, a rarity), then I'd say that ALT="XYZ
Logo" is inappropriate.  I definitely don't want to see it included in
guidelines as a concrete example, because I feel that it's wrong far
more often than it's right.  Remember, you still have the TITLE
attribute at your disposal for describing what it is - as distinct to
stating the function which it performs. 

Elsewhere we are urged to think what we would do if reading this page
out on the telephone.  This seems to me to be excellent advice.  Would
I read out: 
             "XYZ Company Logo. XYZ Company" 
in response to 
             <H1><IMG ...> XYZ Company</H1> ?

I would not.  Would you?

best regards
Received on Friday, 10 April 1998 08:28:43 UTC

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