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

RE: Lynx and ALT text

From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 16:38:35 -0800
Message-ID: <E3A3FFB80F5CD1119CED00805FBECA2F013BBC10@red-msg-55.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "Charles (Chuck) Oppermann" <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>, "'dd@w3.org'" <dd@w3.org>, Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
I should follow this up and say why I mentioned the ALT text/visual clutter
issue in the first place.

It's been suggested that browsers add delimiters around ALT text in a
graphical browser.  Some people have suggested using square brackets ("[]").

Daniel below says that this is a browser guideline issue.  Recommending that
the browsers automatically add it in the visual display would give content
producers even more reason to not add ALT text to their images.

Sorry I wasn't clear in my first message.

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann 
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 1998 4:15 PM
To: 'dd@w3.org'; Jason White
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: Lynx and ALT text 

Are graphical browsers having this problem?  There is an implicit white
space between the image box containing the ALT text and surrounding text.

I see this as a problem specific to LYNX, since it text based and runs
characters right up against each other.

Some important content produces have asked Microsoft to remove the display
of ALT text while a page loads, saying that it clutters the visual
presentation of the screen.  They argue that the ALT text should only be
shown if the loading of images is turned off.  So far we have resisted doing

Instead, sites stop putting ALT text on images, saying that small images
with long ALT text makes for a cluttered screen with sentence fragments all
over while the page loads.  So they just don't use ALT text.  This is bad.

Microsoft Active Accessibility removes the need to actually have the screen
reader interpret the screen, so a screen reader will always know when it is
verbalizing a image ALT string and when it's just speaking regular text and
can put any sort of verbal delimiters around the speaking of the ALT text.

I'd appreciate it if someone can confirm that this is a problem with a
graphical web browser.

Charles Oppermann
Program Manager, Active Accessibility, Microsoft Corporation
mailto:chuckop@microsoft.com http://microsoft.com/enable/
"A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!" 

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Dardailler [mailto:danield@w3.org]
Sent: Monday, January 19, 1998 11:59 PM
To: Jason White
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Re: Lynx and ALT text 

> <img href="arrow.gif" alt="arrow"><b>Home page</b>
> The displayed output was:
> arrowHome page
> Leaving aside the question of whether ALT text should be associated with a
> graphical list bullet, as was the case for the site in question, I wish to
> know whether the absence of a space following the ALT text is a
> peculiarity of the lynx browser or a more general problem. If it is the
> latter, then perhaps the guidelines could make it clear that a space must
> appear in the markup after the IMG element. If, however, this problem is
> specific to lynx, then the guidelines should not be changed, but instead
> the developers should be sent a bug report.

DD: I think this is a Browser guidelines issue, eventually a bug in
Received on Tuesday, 20 January 1998 19:39:00 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:26 UTC