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RE: Okay, is this better?

From: Alan J. Flavell <flavell@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 23:33:05 +0000 (GMT)
To: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
cc: "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.96.980327232652.5948B-100000@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
On Fri, 27 Mar 1998, Liam Quinn wrote:

> Providing the meaning rather than the visual indication of that meaning
> would be better, in my opinion.  For example, if a site uses images of
> orange dividing lines before warnings and green dividing lines before
> notes, then ALT="Warning:" and ALT="Note:" would be better than ALT="Orange
> Divider Line" and ALT="Green Divider Line".

That's basically the way I see it now (after having been dissuaded
from my earlier use of "ascii art"). But I'm still uneasy about the
borderline between information and meta-information.  It all seems to
hinge upon whether we think a text browser should display ALT text
seamlessly, or whether it should provide some kind if indicator that
it's different in nature from normal text.  And there are some
situations where the one is preferable (for example, where the image
is of text in a special font, and the ALT only repeats the text), and
some where the other is preferable (e.g where the text is a functional
replacement for a graphical sign, and an author is tempted to put the
ALT ext in some kind of delimiters, [-] or *-* or whatever, if a
typical text browser would otherwise make it appear seamless). 

A dilemma.
Received on Friday, 27 March 1998 18:33:10 UTC

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