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Re: Alt="" or " "?

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 05:37:20 -0700
Message-Id: <5.0.0.25.2.20000929052136.00a6d950@mail.gorge.net>
To: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 11:58 AM 9/29/00 +0100, Alan J. Flavell wrote:
>I have to express my dislike of your phrase "not worth writing".

Duly noted. I thought you'd object more to "copout" but that's life, I 
guess <g>.

Your preferred language from the html tech doc also says "Several 
non-textual elements (IMG, AREA, APPLET, and INPUT) let authors specify 
alternate text..." The word "let" in there raises my hackles a bit. In my 
"them's fightin' words, pardner" lexicon it's a questionable verb and 
should be "require".

If we require alt attribute with every instance of img element (and I 
believe we do and should) then some decision regarding what constitutes 
acceptable content must ensue. Because there is clearly no chance of 
agreement, at least between " " or "", we decided in essence not to decide 
- to leave it up to the author. The problem that a tool has in deciding if 
one or the other indicates an action to licitly include alt, but no 
meaningful content is still with us.

My aim in writing about where the issue stands is to inform authors about 
the various "alt alternatives" so they have awareness of: 1) the importance 
of alt; 2) reasons/excuses for making the choice to disinclude useful 
information therefrom. The admonition to "ask your favorite accessible 
technology user" for an opinion is serious and so, IMHO is "copout".

I don't think there are entries made in a document that have zero semantic 
content, even if it's as trivial as "I had too much space over on this side 
and decided to put in a little rosette thingie." In fact the argument about 
<hr> not being "structure" is specious and based on retinal meanness. 
Blindless people clearly use these lines as structural benchmarks.

I could (and probably will) go on...

--
Love.
                 ACCESSIBILITY IS RIGHT - NOT PRIVILEGE
Received on Friday, 29 September 2000 08:38:56 GMT

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