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Re: ALT text in techniques document

From: Alan J. Flavell <flavell@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 11:23:04 +0100 (BST)
To: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
cc: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.10.9904201107550.3431-100000@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
On Tue, 20 Apr 1999, Jason White wrote:

> I tend to support these comments. A suitable text equivalent for a
> graphical bullet might be ALT="*", but in general, user agents tend to
> insert their own bullets for list items, 

Excuse me, but we seem to be drifting away from the specific point,
which was about a _deprecated_ example within the technique 4.4.1 "Use
style sheets to change list bullets".

> and thus an empty ALT string would seem preferable.

In this specific deprecated example, no.  But the point, surely, is
that the example is being deprecated not merely because it has an
inappropriate ALT text, but because it is abusing <DL>/<DD> to make a
<UL> with a custom bullet.  Haggling over what the ALT text ought to
be is to miss the point of why the example is being deprecated, I
would suggest.

> Also, as the Techniques Document should (and probably does -- I have not
> had a chance to read the latest draft) emphasize, graphical bullets are
> best controlled by style sheets 

Which is precisely what this technique (4.4.1) was intended to
promote. This makes me uneasy about the potential for misunderstanding
the significance of this "deprecated example".  After all, if its
significance is not clear to the participants in this special interest
group, how can we expect our wider audience to understand what it is
intended to tell them?

Of course, this is always a risk when showing a "deprecated example",
which makes it all the more important to spell out just what the
example is supposed to be illustrating.

best regards
Received on Tuesday, 20 April 1999 06:23:21 UTC

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