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Re: Images, scripts and applets in OBJECT

From: Wendy A Chisholm <chisholm@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 17:03:03 -0500
Message-Id: <199809172208.RAA18271@trace.wisc.edu>
To: jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 08:36 AM 9/15/98 +1000, you wrote:
>The guidelines state that where an OBJECT element refers to an image,
>script or applet, alternative (textual) content must be provided where the
>object in question conveys important information. I think this formulation
>may give designers too much latitude in deciding which items convey
>"important information" and which do not. The issue is made even more
>confusing by the "priority 1" rating of this guideline.
we define what "important" means (see Appendix A).  Is it still vague
enough to allow too much latitude, or do you expect that authors will not
look at what "important" means (even though we link to it throughout the

First of all, it seems that you are talking about A2 - descriptions of
images rather than A1 - brief alternative text.  This technique is a P1 for
the same reason that the guideline is a P1. What we are saying is that in
the particular instance that you use OBJECT to embed an applet, script, or
image, and that applet, script, or image conveys important information
(that is not conveyed through the alternative text - A1), then you need to
use OBJECT appropriately to provide a description of the important
information that is conveyed. could you explain why it is confusing? 

>Suggestion: Rewrite the guideline so that images are treated separately.
>It should be made clear, as in other parts of the guidelines, that
>alternative textual content is always required with respect to images. As
>regards scripts and applets, an appropriate statement would be to the
>effect that alternative content is needed where these convey visual or
>auditory? information which is significant in relation to the purpose to
>be fulfilled by the web page.
why do you feel images should be treated separately?  If scripts or applets
are used to present information that needs a long description, the issue is
the same as an image.  thus, it seems these can all be dealt with in one
place.  the rest of your comment is what we have been striving for, and if
we are not conveying the thoughts appropriately, please help us in doing
so.  being knee deep in it, i think that the guidelines convey exactly what
you've said.  however, we have separated audio and video into four guidelines:
A.1 - at the minimum provide short text alternatives for visual objects
(presented either through static images, active applets, etc.)
A.2 - if important information is conveyed through applets, scripts, or
image, describe it.
A.3. - at a minimum provide a short text alternative for all audio, and if
important info presented, provide a transcript.
A.4. - how to deal with video (synching captions, audio descriptios, and
providing transcripts)

>I am sure that the editors can express this idea more succinctly.
thanks for your confidence, but I think we're a bit befuddled with what the
issue is!

Received on Thursday, 17 September 1998 18:08:38 UTC

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