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RE: ALT text survey

From: Kasday, Leonard <kasday@att.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 10:26:22 -0500
Message-Id: <F9AE637AED42D01187B400A0C913772E8F987B@mailsrvd.ho.att.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

	Thanks for the feedback on the standards.   My comments preceded
by LRK::

	>When this page is viewed with the latest Netscape Navigator
	>(4.04/Win95/1024*768 resolution) (with image loading turned
off) _no_
	>ALT text is displayed on my system[1] for _any_ of these
	>demonstrating the futility of such precise instructions when
	>content for the WWW.

LRK:: this is intresting, but surely you don't mean that no alt text is
shown anywere.  There are some large images, e.g. 145x170.  Which images
don't show the text?   .  

	> In the "Recommended Guidelines for New Pages" section 3, the
use of such
> >ALT text such as "bullet" for bullet images is recommended; this is
> >something which I (and others) feel is totally inappropriate. Quoting
> >from Alan Flavell's study[2] of the use of ALT in IMG:
> ><blockquote>
> > So we get to read (or blind readers get to hear): 
> >        Large Yellow Bullet Introduction
> >        Large Yellow Bullet The Problem
> >              Small Red Bullet Historical Analysis
> >              Small Red Bullet Current Situation
> >        Large Yellow Bullet The Solution
> ></blockquote>
	LRK:: This is not what the AT&T alt text standards recommend.
For bullet, they simply say to use one word, "bullet", except, to quote
the standards

	"Include color or description of bullet if it has meaning, e.g.
if red bullets imply higher importance than blue bullets. "

	> Firstly; just 11 responses is far too few upon which to base
	> meaningful conclusions

LRK:: Although it's a smaller number of responses than I would have
liked, they were accommpaniend by explanations that made them quite
compelling to me.   When you say that "this is something which I (and
others) feel is totally inappropriate"  how many people (you plus
others) does this represent and how many are blind?     At most, I think
we have to recognize that there are differences of opinion here among
users that we need to consider.     We can't say that anything is
"totally inappropriate" if thats what some people prefer and it does no
large harm to others.

If we could get feedback from a wider cross section of blind users that
would be great.  Especially if we could get feedback from people who
don't normally participate in listserv's.

Anyone have any ideas on that?

	> Secondly; although I don't dispute the need to cater for
> > users where feasible, surely the emphasis, for optimal
> accessibility,
> > should be geared towards two far more numerous minorities:
> > 
> >   + those who choose to use (or only have access to)
> >     a text-only browser,
> > 
> >   + those who choose to use a graphical browser
> >     with auto-image-loading disabled
> >      
> > Build wheelchair ramps, by all means: but don't construct bollards
> to
> > hinder normal pedestrian traffic!
	LRK:: While I concede that these standards don't make the page
optimal from an aesthetic point of view for lynx (e.g. "bullet" instead
of "*"), I don't see that it impedes function for lynx users in the
least.  I think the priority should be

	1. function for blind users
	2. aesthetics for sighted lynx users

	As for browsing with images off, I don't see how the standards
affect either aesthetics or function.  So I don't see how this is
comparable to constructing bollards.

All opinions expressed here are my own, not necessarily those of my
kasday@att.com         phone 732 949 2693

Leonard R. Kasday
Room 1J-316A
AT&T Laboratories
101 Crawfords Corner Rd.
Holmdel NJ 07733
Received on Tuesday, 10 February 1998 10:27:10 UTC

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