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

Re: ALT text revisited

From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 20:17:28 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 08:52 AM 17/02/98 -0500, David Poehlman wrote:
>comments marked with dhp below.

My comments are prefixed with LQ::

>dhp if it is a button, say it is a button.

LQ::  Why?  How does knowing it's a button provide you with any information
about the *content* of the page?  The fact that a button is on the page
provides no more information than knowing that the text is in Times New
Roman and fuchsia.  What is needed is to know what the button represents,
and for that the presence of the button itself is just a distraction if you
can't actually see it.

>> ALT text should not be used with the APPLET element since richer alternate
>> content can be provided as the content of the element.
>dhp Is this backward compatible?

LQ::  Completely, moreso than if the ALT attribute is used, since a
pre-HTML 3.2 browser won't get the ALT text but it will get the APPLET's
content and present it as an alternative.  And the APPLET's content can
contain HTML elements like STRONG and A, whereas ALT is limited to plain
text.  As I mentioned before on this list, I don't understand why ALT was
ever added to the APPLET element.

Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/
Received on Tuesday, 17 February 1998 20:16:18 UTC

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