W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 1998

Re: alt-text authoring guidelines

From: Mike Paciello <paciello@yuri.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 09:56:05 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk, dd@w3.org
Cc: WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Can I briefly suggest that half the problems related to the ALT-text
discussions are simply based on user knowledge we don't know or are unsure
of? Discussions like this tend to be very subjective in nature....and while
I appreciate that it's critical for the WG to "get it right", I don't think
it's possible until you implement user interface testing into the WAI
process to help you truly determine what a blind or text-client user will
need/want. Please note that I've used "client" since it's clear that we're
dealing with multiple client interfaces -- not just PC-type or voice-based



At 02:42 PM 4/10/98 +0100, Alan J. Flavell wrote:
>On Fri, 10 Apr 1998, Daniel Dardailler wrote:
>> I would say: there is the company logo on the left corner (do you want
>> me to describe it?), then it says "Welcome to XYZ", etc.
>> So that later, on, if I refer to "the page with the company logo on
>> it", then it would make sense.
>Except that this XYZ's company policy requires the company logo to be
>on all of their pages, so that detail doesn't help.  Are you going to
>bother the listener with this detail on every single one of their
>pages?  They also demand the pages to be a specific shade of blue, so
>that is also an important piece of information (or at least, the XYZ
>company design office considers it to be an important piece of
>information).  And the design office insists that the font has to be
>New Baskerville, so that's another important detail that you need to
>convey to the listener, it seems. Where shall it end? 
>> It's just information, 
>As I said, this depends on the specific situation, I don't believe one
>can make an absolute rule that takes no account of the context.
>Apart from that, I gather that you put the borderline between content
>and decoration in a different place than I do - I don't claim to
>be the final arbiter of that, I was only expressing a personal view,
>and I'm content to leave the discussion at that.
>> and I don't see why I would not give it away.
>My answer to that would be that concentrating on extraneous visual
>detail can be distracting the listener from the real content of the
>page.  But again, it's all a question of context, and the author's
>intentions for the various components of their page.
Received on Friday, 10 April 1998 09:56:19 UTC

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