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RE: URL for new Draft to Review

From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 00:22:27 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 06:19 PM 13/04/98 -0700, Charles (Chuck) Oppermann wrote:
>I agree that ALT and the markup inside of APPLET need to be better defined.
>Also for OBJECT as well.  I though that it was okay to say that the markup
>was sufficient, but is it?  Wendy's testing of the <OBJECT> tag had dismal
>results for accessibility.  What should a browser do when it recognizes the
>tag, but is not displaying the applet or object because of (a) user choice
>or (b) the operation failed?  
>Should the browser display the ALT attribute or the markup in-between?  More
>importantly, what should authors do?
>For example, O'Reilly's "HTML: The Definitive Guide" 2nd Edition has this to
>say about the matter:
>Page 400, Section Supporting incompatible browsers
>Since some browsers may not support applets or the <applet> tag, sometimes
>you may need to tell readers what they are missing.  You do this by
>including HTML body content between the <applet> and </applet> tags.
>Remember that this contained text is different from the text supplied by the
>alt attribute of the <applet> tag.  The ALT text is displayed by browsers
>that support the <applet> tag but cannot execute or display the specified
>applet.  The contained text is displayed by browsers that do not support the
><applet> tag at all.

LQ::  This is silly.  The result is that newer browsers provide less
capable replacements for APPLETs since they move from giving rich markup
alternatives (the content of the APPLET) to plain text alternatives (the
ALT attribute) when they add support for the APPLET element.  APPLET allows
replacements with full markup; let's not throw that away because somebody
made a mistake and added an ALT attribute to APPLET.  (There's a reason why
OBJECT doesn't have an ALT attribute.)

I don't see a need to have different alternate content depending on whether
the browser supports the APPLET element or not.  Either way, the user will
not see the APPLET.  Besides, the guidelines clearly don't care about
pre-HTML 3.2 browsers, so we can probably assume APPLET support for the
sake of the guidelines.

By the way, the April 13th draft mentions in numerous places that the ALT
attribute is required for APPLET.  This is not the case in any version of

Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/
Received on Tuesday, 14 April 1998 00:22:55 UTC

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