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Re: title inclusion

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 01:13:08 -0800
Message-Id: <a05101000b834e5bd3abf@[10.0.1.33]>
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>, WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 5:15 PM -0500 12/5/01, Joe Clark wrote:
>I have been working up to making the case that all the WCAG 
>documents, even the normative ones, should be written in a much more 
>conversational form.
>I would thus advance the proposal that an explanation of alt, title, 
>and longdesc could read as follows-- informal and immediately 
>understandable.

Aside from style issues, I'm not sure I agree with these definitions.

>alt, title, and longdesc provide basic, intermediate, and advanced 
>information about a graphic.

The idea that alt, title, and longdesc are a hierarchy of information
is, in my opinion, confusing and not to spec, specifically when talking
about the @title attribute.  @title has a specific definition in HTML,
and it's not "intermediate information" when applied to a graphic.

>1. alt tells you the function or purpose of the graphic-- 
>*essential* information.
>2. title tells you more about the graphic-- nice-to-know or 
>explanatory information.
>3. longdesc tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the 
>graphic-- thorough, encyclopedic information.

Apart from the style, the content of these definitions is lacking.
For example, you have redefined @alt so it's no longer "a text
equivalent" but is now "the function or purpose" in a minimal
way.  The @title is now "nice-to-know" but this gives me little idea
when to use @title and when not.  The @longdesc definition makes no
reference to the fact that, unlike the others, it's a URI -- and
what's more, "encyclopedic information" is still not quite what
longdesc is for, since it's not necessarily true that @longdesc
is everything you ever wanted to know.  For example, few people
would state that @longdesc needs to describe who snapped a picture,
with what type of camera, what software was used to process it, on
what platform, etc., but conceivably that's "encyclopedic
information."

I don't mind the informal _style_ at all but i think the specific
definitions need work, as I don't believe they're usable or useful as
a recommendation to web developers.

--Kynn


-- 
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
http://www.kynn.com/
Received on Thursday, 6 December 2001 04:34:36 GMT

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