W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 2001

alt to text

From: Adam Victor Reed <areed2@calstatela.edu>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 10:22:26 -0700
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <20010502102226.A10180@uranus.calstatela.edu>
On Wed, May 02, 2001 at 07:00:33AM -0400, Anne Pemberton wrote:
> Adam,
> 
>     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 < > .... 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. That way it will always be there whether the page
> author has heard of accessibility or not.
> 
> 			Anne

Actually, punctuation of alt text is often NOT a good idea, which
why browsers (lynx etc) ought not to do it. Frequently the IMG is just
a picture of text (showing the text in a fancy font or faux freehand),
in which case alt text that is NOT set off from other text is easier
to understand. Sometimes the IMG is just a fancy capital at the start
of a word, the rest of which is presented as text, so having the
browser put all ALTs "in brackets < >" would definitely interfere with
screen readers.

Alt text should always be the contextually appropriate text
replacement for the IMG. If the IMG shows text, the replacement should
be nothing other than the text in the IMG. If the IMG serves to
explain or elaborate the regular text, then the ALT should be
parenthesiszed, just like text that serves the same function. And if
it is something distinct, like an icon or button, then it should be
set apart in brackets.

				Adam Reed
				areed2@calstatela.edu
				 
Context matters. Seldom does *anything* have only one cause.
Received on Wednesday, 2 May 2001 13:22:40 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:47:10 GMT