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Re: alt for icons

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert45@lycos.com>
Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 11:58:30 -0400
To: "Anne Pemberton" <apembert@erols.com>, A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk
Message-ID: <MJOIFFCPLCNCIAAA@mailcity.com>
Cc: "WAI Guidelines List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

    There seem to be a variety of preferences and needs among different people and or groups as to what they would like in the alt tag. And the needs are clashing. To meet your needs, I must discard Adam's, and if I meet Adam's needs, you are going to bash my work! Not a very clean front to guide page authors!

    In fact, until those working on the guidelines are in agreement how to write alt tags, I would suggest a suspension of emotion-laden criticism for what the poor, confused page authors are trying to do.

Anne Pemberton


On Wed, 2 May 2001 13:44:26   
 Alan J. Flavell wrote:
>On Wed, 2 May 2001, Anne Pemberton wrote:
>>     I haven't looked at something in lynx for a long time, but I thought I
>> remembered that lynx put the alt tag in brackets < > 
>Lynx does not put the ALT text in brackets, and as far as I know
>it never has.  And certainly not pointy brackets. 
>You might be confusing this with Lynx's habit (variously in different
>versions) of generating a placeholder in square brackets, when the
>author has failed to supply an ALT attribute.  It used to be something
>like [IMAGE] or [LINK] or [USEMAP]; more recent versions insert the
>image filename, producing exciting sites such as this one
>   [USEMAP:circle_1.gif] [USEMAP:circle_2.gif] [USEMAP:life_1.gif]
>                                               [USEMAP:circle_3.gif]
>   [USEMAP:life_2.gif]
>   [USEMAP:circle_4.gif]
>   [USEMAP:life_3.gif]
>and so on, ad nauseam...
>But where an unsympathetic author _has_ provided ALT attributes (and
>even goes so far as to claim compliance with Bobby validation!), we
>get to see this nonsense instead:
>      spacer spacer spacer spacer logo
>(139 matches for that phrase at Altavista!).
>> .... If this is no
>> longer (or never was) the case, then it would be more sensible to change
>> the browsers so that punctuation is added to set off the image text when it
>> is presented visually.
>Sorry, I can't agree.  Then the conscientious author would have no way
>to incorporate their desired text string seamlessly into the text-mode
>result, since there would be no way to tell the browser to omit the
>brackets when the author knew they were superfluous.
>The solution IMHO is not to take inappropriate ALT text, as was
>exhibited in the samples on which you are commenting, and then to
>forcibly delimit it in the browser with additional punctutation.  The
>solution is to promote the use of appropriate ALT texts, with
>delimiters supplied or not supplied by the author according to the
>desired context.  And put the blame for doing it wrong on those
>authors who are doing it wrong, whether by omitting ALT attributes or
>by using them badly.
>> At 05:08 PM 5/1/01 -0700, Adam Victor Reed wrote:
>> >I have an attention deficit, so I often use lynx to avoid distractions.
>> >Alt text appears in place of graphics, so it merges with other text if
>> >not set off with punctuation. It is NOT accessible if it appears as
>> >
>> >    1. Markup tools icon one Markup tools icon two Markup tools icon
>The proffered ALT text here is clearly inappropriate, in a way that no
>amount of browser kludging could repair.  Please, let's not make
>things harder for those who are trying to do it right, in an effort to
>mask the faults of those who are doing it wrong.
>If you're interested in commenting further on what Lynx does, it
>shouldn't be so hard to get a copy and observe it in action (unless
>your only access is to a Mac, for which there never seems to have been
>a satisfactory port).  Try starting from http://lynx.browser.org and
>following the relevant links. Some on-line services which aim to give
>an impression of Lynx's presentation are cited from the Lynx links
>site, but seem to be ancient Lynx versions or no longer accessible.  
>But anyone interested in text-mode browsers should also look at w3m,
>at least.
>best regards

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Received on Wednesday, 2 May 2001 11:59:33 UTC

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